Outdoor financials: Black Diamond sales up, targets apparel in 2013

Black Diamond reported preliminary fourth quarter and year-end 2010 sales, both up more than 9 percent from a year ago. It also announced a target date of fall 2013 to launch a new apparel and footwear line to its brand.
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Black Diamond, Inc. (Nasdaq: BDE) reported higher preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 revenue, along with the news that it is targeting fall 2013 to enter the outdoor technical apparel and footwear market.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based outdoor equipment company (www.blackdiamondequipment.com), which merged with Gregory Mountain Products in May, said it expects to report combined sales of $34 million in the fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31, 2010 – up 9.7 percent from what combined sales would have been between the then-separate companies a year ago.

Full-year 2010 combined revenue is expected to come in at $125 million – up 9.6 percent from what combined sales would have been in 2009. Full financial details, including profits, are expected upon the completion of the company’s audit.

With the company integration complete, Black Diamond CEO Peter Metcalf said his company will focus on growth.

“The next few years hold an extraordinary opportunity for our brand and the next logical step is apparel,” Metcalf said in a statement. “We believe the market demand for Black Diamond apparel is substantial and, if executed well, that this category can become equal to or larger than the balance of our business within five years of launch.”

Black Diamond’ s current product line focuses on climbing gear, technical backpacks, headlamps, skiing equipment and accessories, and avalanche safety products.

Excluding the above plans to expand into new product lines, Black Diamond officials forecasted 12.5 percent compounded annual sales growth from existing categories. They also estimated full-year 2011 sales to range between $135 million to $140 million and gross margins between 36 percent and 39 percent, which does not take into effect new category launches or the impact from possible strategic acquisitions, officials said.

“Acquisitions are an important element of our long-term strategic plan and we are intently focused on identifying specific transactions that can accelerate our organic growth, leverage our global operating platform, and add additional value for shareholders,” Metcalf said. “While we are confident that we will prove to be an acquirer of choice, the timing, size and specific impact of acquisitions is unpredictable.”

Black Diamond officials also noted a new company strategic plan, which calls for “significant operating expense investments in areas such as a new distribution facility, visual merchandising, direct to consumer sales and marketing, product development and infrastructure.”

-- Compiled by David Clucas

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