Outdoor financials: Kellwood reports net earnings up, plus Brunswick acquires Navman

Outdoor financials: Kellwood reports net earnings up. Brunswick acquires Navman.
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Kellwood reports net earnings up 19 percent
Kellwood (NYSE: KWD) reported sales of $686 million for the first quarter of 2004, up $16 million from $672 million in sales reported Q1 2003. The increase was attributed to organic growth of $5 million and the acquisition of Phat Fashions which provided an additional $9 million of revenue. Kellwood reported debt was down to 30 percent of total capital compared to 34 percent last year, and total inventory was down to $27 million, representing a 56 days supply versus a 68 days supply last year. Kellwood expects 2Q sales to be up by 10 percent to 12 percent.

Kellwood chooses to lump Intimate Apparel and Children's Apparel with American Recreation Products companies (Kelty, Slumberjack, Sierra Designs) so it is difficult to accurately gauge just how well or poorly ARP is performing, but suffice it to say that Kellwood reported ARP sales numbers were down for 2003. Sales for the Other Soft Goods category for Kellwood were reported at $467.7 million for 2003. First-quarter numbers for Other Soft Goods in 2004 were $119,969, down significantly from $143,206 reported same quarter 2003. Kellwood attributed this 16 percent plummet to sourcing and logistical challenges in Intimate Apparel.

According to the company's 2003 financial report, "American Recreation Products spent a good portion of the year streamlining its organizational structure as well as focusing on the elimination and improvement of under-performing product lines. ARP significantly reduced its operating capital requirements while improving profitability." Kellwood noted that 2003 successes included Slumberjack's new line of lightweight sleeping bags; the expansion of the company's Eddie Bauer business at Target to include water bottles, cooking and picnic sets; and the full introduction of the Wenger/Swiss Gear license to sporting goods chains and mass-market channels.

Brunswick acquires remaining 30 percent share of Navman
Brunswick has acquired all remaining assets of Navman NZ Limited -- 30 percent of the company -- for USD $33.6 million (NZ $52 million) to be paid in equal amounts cash and shares of Brunswick common stock. Brunswick purchased the initial 70 percent of the company in June 2003. The company announced that Navman will remain headquartered in New Zealand with the current management team in place. There also will be no changes for Navman's workforce, which has grown by about 25 percent, or 130 jobs, worldwide in the past year. More than half of that job growth has been in New Zealand, with the remainder in markets where Navman is expanding its global presence. Brunswick has indicated the company acquired Navman to enhance Brunswick's overall marine electronics capabilities and offer opportunities for growth in non-marine applications such as the GPS, personal, auto and fleet management markets. Established in 1986, Navman -- www.navman.com -- is among New Zealand's leading companies and focuses on the design, manufacture and marketing of high-reliability GPS products for the marine, personal GPS, fleet management and OEM markets. Headquartered in Auckland, Navman also has facilities in Christchurch and Wellington as well as sales and distribution offices in Australia, United Kingdom and United States.

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