Merrell, Chaco, Patagonia Footwear lift Wolverine 2Q sales

A 2.7 percent gain in Merrell, Chaco, and Patagonia Footwear sales helped parent company Wolverine Worldwide eke out a revenue rise for the second quarter 2012, despite weakness in the company’s lifestyle and heritage groups, particularly from Europe.
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A 2.7 percent gain in Merrell, Chaco, and Patagonia Footwear sales helped parent company Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) eke out a revenue rise for the second quarter 2012, despite weakness in the company’s lifestyle and heritage groups, particularly from Europe.

The Rockford Mich.-based footwear company’s total sales edged up less than a percent to $312.7 million, compared to a year ago, while it’s profit slipped slightly to $20.5 million versus nearly $24 million a year ago.

Officials said the earnings were negatively affected by lower sales in Europe, plus some acquisition costs related to its previously announced plans to acquire Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds brands.

Wolverine’s outdoor footwear group sales came in at nearly $130.7 million, or 42 percent of total sales.

Company officials reaffirmed their revenue guidance for Wolverine, predicting 2012 sales to come in between $1.46 billion and $1.5 billion, representing full-year growth of 3.6 percent to 6.4 percent growth. Yearly profit is expected to increase by 8.9 percent to 12.9 percent. Those predictions don’t reflect any benefit or loss from the pending acquisition, which is expected to close by late summer or early fall.

"Recent feedback from key retailers reinforces our positive outlook for the remainder of 2012, and we fully expect to deliver another year of record financial performance,” said Wolverine CEO Blake Krueger.

Wolverine’s July 10 earnings serve as the industry’s first look and what’s expected to be a mixed quarter for outdoor companies benefiting from strong early spring warm-weather sales, but struggling with decreased sales due to economic turmoil in Europe.

--David Clucas

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