Columbia, Prana, Sorel 1Q sales shine; Mountain Hardwear lags

The company's Prana acquisition, plus strong North American and recovering European sales helped lead to record results, despite some hiccups at MHW.
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Columbia Sportswear (Nasdaq: COLM), parent to its namesake brand, Mountain Hardwear, Prana, Montrail and Sorel, reported another record quarter thanks to its Prana acquisition, strong North American sales and a recovering European market.

First-quarter 2015 sales rose 13 percent to a record of $479 million, or up 4.2 percent minus last June’s Prana acquisitions, which contributed about $37.1 million. Quarterly net income rose to a record $26.5 million versus $22.3 million a year ago.

“We are experiencing exceptional sell-through in North America through the first half of the spring season and our European business has returned to growth,” said Columbia CEO Tim Boyle. “Sorel is poised for a very strong second half and full year net sales of more than $200 million, while prAna remains on pace to deliver annualized growth of more than 20 percent.”

By brand, frist-quarter Columbia sales rose 7 percent to $401 million, Sorel rose 4 percent to $13.4 million, while Mountain Hardwear sales fell 23 percent to $25.1 million.

The latter’s decline is due to inventory changes and price adjustments for Mountain Hardwear that began during the third quarter 2014, as SNEWS has previously reported. Subsequent lower closeout sales, plus a decline in full-price sales due to the West Coast port disruptions and a negative comparison against pull-forward shipments in spring 2014 also contributed to the drop.

Despite those hiccups, the remainder of the company’s strong performances gave officials confidence to raise projections for Columbia, now expecting high, single-digit net sales growth for 2015 (versus 15 percent organic growth in 2014) and an annual net profit of between $154 million and $161 million, versus a net profit of $137.2 million in 2014.

Investors have driven Columbia’s stock up 40 percent year-to-date in 2015.

--David Clucas

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