Columbia 1Q sales flat, profit slips, officials project 1% growth for 2012

Columbia Sportswear Co. reported flat sales and a lower profit for the first quarter 2012 due to lingering effects of a weak winter. That pace isn’t expected to improve much for the rest of the year, officials said, projecting just 1 percent sales growth for 2012.
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Columbia Sportswear Co. (Nasdaq: COLM) reported flat revenue and a lower profit for the first quarter 2012 due to lingering effects of a weak winter and lower sales in Europe.

The Portland, Ore.-based parent company of Columbia, Mountain Hardwear and Montrail outdoor brands reported its quarterly revenue relatively unchanged at $331.1 million compared a year ago. That pace isn’t expected to improve much for the rest of the year, officials said, projecting just 1 percent sales growth for 2012.

To keep in the black, Columbia announced in March that it would lay off 80 employees, or approximately 2 percent of its workforce. It faced $2.8 million in restructuring charges on those moves.

The company’s quarterly profit fell to $3.9 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, versus a profit of $12.8 million, or 37 cents per share a year ago.

By product segment, apparel, accessories and equipment sales increased 2 percent to $284.3 million and footwear sales fell 10 percent to $48.8 million.

By brand, Columbia sales increased 2 percent to $293.1 million, Mountain Hardwear sales fell 3 percent to $30.7 million and Sorel (which focuses on winter boots) dropped 38 percent to $6.4 million.

By region Columbia saw its sales in the U.S. unchanged at $193 million, Latin America and Asia Pacific sales grew 14 percent to $76.8 million, while Europe sales fell 14 percent to $38.1 million and Canada sales dropped 13 percent to $25.2 million.

Columbia continued a trend of flat-to-mixed first-quarter results from outdoor apparel and footwear brands on Wall Street, including similar performances from Wolverine Worldwide and Jarden earlier this week. Next up on Friday afternoon are results from The North Face and Timberland parent VF Corp. and Salomon and Arc’teryx parent Amer Sports.

--David Clucas

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