Colder, snowier Eastern/Midwest U.S. winters help Marmot, K2, Marker for 2014/15

Despite drier and warmer conditions in the West, low temps and plentiful snowfall in the Midwest and Northeast these past two winters boost sales.
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For the second winter in a row, plenty of snow and cold in the Northeast and Midwest (despite drier and warmer conditions out West) is helping outdoor and wintersports sales.

Jarden Corp. (NYSE: JAH), parent to Marmot, K2, Marker and other outdoor brands, reported 4.6 percent organic growth (minus acquisitions) for its Outdoor Solutions group to $621.1 million in the all-important fourth quarter to close out the full year for the group up 1.9 percent at $2.74 billion.

“Traditional winter weather late in 2013 and early in 2014 created a sell-in opportunity for Q3 and Q4 in 2014,” Jarden CEO James Lillie told investors during the company’s Feb. 12 conference call. “Our back half results demonstrated that we indeed capitalized on this opportunity. This year, we are seeing a similar setup, where the POS (point of sale) of traditional cold weather products is good. And like last year, we expect this will help ordering patterns for the back half of 2015.”

Looking ahead to holiday 2015 (where retailers will be reordering based off sales from the current winter season), Lillie said he expects similar results with varied winter conditions around the world.

“Europe was terrible from a snow perspective until just recently. The West Coast of the U.S. was and remains terrible. The Rockies have been okay. Japan has been good, and New England has been healthy. And so kind of a mixed bag,” he said . “And quite frankly, I think that you'll see kind of a normal reorder pattern with not huge changes in stock inventory at retailers in the fourth quarter and heading into the first quarter.”

Despite the healthy numbers for Jarden’s outdoor group, the sector still lagged the company’s overall revenue increases — which rose 11.4 percent organically to $2.44 billion. In other words, consumers were increasing their spending on Jarden’s consumer and branded goods at a bit faster pace than its outdoor goods this past holiday season. For the full year 2014, Jarden’s organic revenue growth came in at 5.8 percent to $8.29 billion.

Stay tuned to SNEWS as outdoor bellwethers Columbia Sportswear and VF Corp (parent to The North Face, Timberland and Vans), also report their earnings this week.

--David Clucas

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