Outdoor financials: Mammut first-half sales slip on poor snow; plus new owners for SOG Specialty Knives & Tools

Mammut's first-half 2011 sales slipped 10.1 percent on dry winter and spring season in Europe, along with a strong Swiss franc and the sale of one its business units. Plus knife and tool maker SOG is sold to new owners.

Poor snow in Europe, a strong Swiss franc and the sale of one of its business units led to a 10.1 percent decline in revenue for Mammut Sports Group during the first half of 2011.

The Swiss outdoor apparel and gear brand reported its latest earnings Aug. 18 along with parent company Conzzeta Group, which despite Mammut’s down performance was able to increase revenue by 6.6 percent to CHF 538 million (USD $680.2 million) thanks to its other diverse business units, including sheet metal processing. The overall company’s operating profit more than doubled in the first half of the year to CHF 28.6 million (USD $36.2 million).

Mammut reported first-half 2011 revenue of CHF 85.4 million (USD $108 million) compared to sales of CHF 95 million (USD $120.1 million) in the first half of 2010. Company officials said a dry winter and spring lead to a decline in sales in Central Europe of products such as avalanche beacons and waterproof clothing. Sales in Germany were up, however, along with stronger sales in Korea and Japan.

In local currencies and adjusted for the sale of its former Toko business (a specialized ski wax and care company sold to Swix Sport in 2010), company officials said Mammut’s revenue would have been on par with a year ago.

Looking ahead, Conzzeta company officials said a turbulent market made reliable forecasting impossible, but it expected that the strong Swiss franc would present a challenging environment for the company in the second half of 2011.

(Conversion of Swiss francs into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of Aug. 18, 2011.)

Investment groups swap SOG Specialty Knives & Tools

Studies and Observations Group (SOG) Specialty Knives & Tools has been sold to a new investment group, which includes the company’s founder and CEO.

Gladstone Investment Corp. (Nasdaq:GAIN) said it invested $28.1 million in debt and equity, along with undisclosed investments from Montlake Capital, The Mustang Group, SOG founder Spencer Frazer, and SOG CEO Fred Keller to purchase the Lynnwood, Wash.-based company.

MCC Capital Partners, which had acquired SOG in 2009, sold the company to the new investment group. D.A. Davidson & Company's Outdoor Investment Banking team led by Nathan Pund, structured the deal, and advised SOG through negotiations.

SOG designs and produces specialty knives and tools for the outdoors, hunting, military, law enforcement and industrial markets.

--Compiled by David Clucas

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