Cold, snowy spring boosts Jarden’s 1Q outdoor sales

A cold and snowy spring helped boost first-quarter 2013 sales for Jarden Corp.’s outdoor and wintersports brands, including Marmot, Coleman and K2.
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A cold and snowy spring helped boost first-quarter 2013 sales for Jarden Corp.’s (NYSE: JAH) outdoor and wintersports brands, including Marmot, Coleman and K2.

Jarden’s Outdoor Solutions Group reported its latest quarterly sales up 3.7 percent to $694.9 million, compared to a year ago. But officials are anxious for the weather to warm up soon so spring/summer gear sales don’t take a hit.

So far, 2013’s climate couldn’t be more different than last year's. Whereas last spring consumers were heading out to hike and camp as early as March and April, this year, copious amounts of early spring snow have them still on the slopes.

While that’s been good to work through leftover winter inventory, it’s beginning to delay spring sales, Jarden CEO James Lillie told investors Wednesday on a conference call.

“As we move through the second quarter, we will continue to monitor any unseasonable weather to gauge its impact on our later spring businesses and their order patterns in product lines such as fishing, while looking to offset any impact in other markets across our diversified portfolio.”

At this point, Jarden’s baseball products have been the hardest hit by the cold, Lille said, while outdoor products such as Coleman camping gear have held up.

“Quite honestly, kids were throwing snowballs, not baseballs, in Q1,” Lille said. “[But] both our fishing and camping businesses were able to deliver positive year-over-year sales growth despite facing the tough comp comparison to last year.” He noted Coleman’s new redesigned line of coolers particularly exhibited strong sales.

The outdoor group’s operating incomes did slightly slip in the first quarter 2013, down to a profit of $56.2 million versus a profit of $57.8 million a year ago, in part due to increased innovation investments at Marmot, officials said. Marmot also plans to launch its own direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform later this year, where officials see opportunity to build on increased technical apparel sales, especially overseas.

--David Clucas

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