Outdoor financials: Johnson Outdoors lands $15.9 million tent order, plus Eddie Bauer

Johnson Outdoors lands $15.9 million tent order, Eddie Bauer readies for next chapter

Johnson Outdoors lands $15.9 million tent order
With a new tent order from the U.S. military, Johnson Outdoors (JOUT) will be able to delay its need to cut jobs at its Binghamton, N.Y., facility. After warning of a significant decline in its military contracts, Johnson was able to secure a $15.9 million urgent need order of 2,510 modular general purpose tent systems over the next eight months.

Urgent need orders are awarded based on a supplier's proven capability to ensure quality and quantity at an accelerated pace, Johnson Outdoors said. The tents, first used by U.S. troops in 1999, resulted from a joint innovation effort by the U.S. military and Johnson Outdoors targeted at providing superior all-weather tent protection. Johnson Outdoors is one of only two U.S. manufacturers qualified to produce the tents. Its outdoor equipment business in Binghamton will be working on the order.

As recently as March, Johnson Outdoors said it would be eliminating positions at the Binghamton facility because of the significant decline in new military tent orders and contracts over the past year. The new order ensures the facility will remain open through the calendar year.

Despite the order, Jerry Perkins, the company's president and COO, said the comapny isn't out of the woods yet.

"We now expect fiscal 2005 military tent sales to decline approximately 25 percent versus 2004. In fiscal 2006, absent further orders or awarding of new contracts, military sales could decline further to between $10 million to $15 million," he said. "As we have stated previously, even if we are successful in winning all the military tent orders and contracts on which we have bid, they are neither of the size nor duration to bring us back to the record levels of military sales realized in either of the last two fiscal years."

Eddie Bauer readies for next chapter
Eddie Bauer Inc. is ready for action as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed Spiegel, Inc.'s plan of reorganization. The plan establishes Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. as the new parent company of Eddie Bauer.

"With the formation of Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. and the company's emergence from Chapter 11 quickly approaching, we at Eddie Bauer could not be more excited about our impending future as a stand-alone company," said Eddie Bauer President and CEO Fabian Mansson. "Throughout the restructuring process, our team has achieved significant success in establishing Eddie Bauer as a profitable organization and building a strong foundation for the new company.

Mansson said that the company has been recruiting team members during the company's two-and-a-half years bankruptcy process, adding people in operations, corporate legal affairs and finance to its senior management team.

He added, "As an endorsement of this good news around the Eddie Bauer business and brand, we are even more encouraged by the strong support of the Creditors' Committee in their desire to participate in the company's future as equity holders and of the commitment and excitement of our recently named board of directors."

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