Officials with Jarden Corp. (NYSE: JAH) parent to wintersports brands K2, Marker, Volkl, and now Backcountry Access, told investors Thursday that it will not only take more normal winter weather, but about 18 months to fully recover from the lackluster 2011/12 winter season.
That puts the earliest better days ahead for the category into fall 2014.
“This is really kind of an 18-month recovery,” said Jarden Vice Chairman and CFO Ian Ashken on a conference call with investors Feb. 14. “The vast majority of our retailers are small independents, mom and pops and so we didn't really have great snow up until the end of December (2012) into January (2013). And I think the vast majority of these retailers have a cautious outlook because they are not well financed, not well capitalized. We have products there that we are confident will move, should the snow arrive, but again we are budgeting conservatively across wintersports.”
Ashken went onto say that better snow this latter half of winter should boost retailer and consumer confidence, but orders for next season are typically largely set. SNEWS previously reported how last year's weak winter combined with long lead times hurt retailers last season, but have caught up to hurt manufacturers this season.
For 2012, Jarden’s outdoor group slipped 2.9 percent to $2.69 billion, due to the wintersports weakness. Operating profits for the sector remained in the black at $325.2 million for the year, but fell from $344.6 million in 2011. The group’s other outdoor brands, which include Marmot, ExOfficio and Coleman, among additional sporting goods brands, performed notably better. Strength was particularly evident in technical outdoor apparel categories where sales experienced double-digit percentage growth for the full year, officials said.
For the fourth-quarter 2012, Jarden’s outdoor group sales edged up less than a percent to $617.9 million. Quarterly operating profit improved to $61.7 million versus $56.4 million a year ago.
Overall, the large diversified company, which also deals in general consumer and branded goods, reported its fourth-quarter 2012 sales up 4.6 percent to $1.82 billion with a net income of $48.7 million. Full-year 2012 sales rose less than a percent to $6.7 billion with a net income of $243.9 million.