Outdoor financials: Saucony 1Q shines, but parent struggles with retail; plus Lowa posts record 2010 - SNEWS

Outdoor financials: Saucony 1Q shines, but parent struggles with retail; plus Lowa posts record 2010

First-quarter sales of performance footwear brand Saucony and its lifestyle sister companies Sperry, Strite Rite and Keds performed well, but not enough to help parent company Collective Brands post a revenue increase. Plus German hiking footwear brand Lowa broke the EUR 100 million sales mark in 2010.

Collective Brands Inc. (NYSE: PSS) reported lower revenue and profit for its fiscal first quarter 2011, despite strong sales growth from its performance and lifestyle group, which includes Saucony.

The Topeka, Kan.-based footwear manufacturer and retailer reported revenue down 1.1 percent to $869.0 million for its first quarter, ended April 30, 2011, compared to the same period a year ago. Frist-quarter profit c came in at $26.4 million, or $0.42 per share, but down from a profit of $54.2 million, or $0.83 per share, a year ago.

The revenue and profit decline was largely due to a 7.4 percent comparable-store sales drop within Collective’s retail business, including Payless Shoesource.

Conversely, first-quarter sales were up 22.5 percent to $212.5 million within Collective’s wholesale performance and lifestyle group (Sauncony, Keds, Strite Rite, and Sperry), which accounts for about 25 percent of the company’s business. The group also saw an operating profit increase to $25.3 million – up 8.6 percent from a year ago.

Lowa breaks EUR 100 million-mark in sales for 2010

German hiking footwear brand Lowa said it broke the EUR 100 million (USD $140 million) sales mark for the first time in the company’s history.

2010 sales were EUR 113 million (USD $159 million) with the company selling 2.02 million pairs of shoes, which it expects to beat in 2011. Through March 2011, pre-orders were 500,000 more than a year ago.

"The biggest challenge for us right now is to deliver orders in a timely manner and with typical Lowa quality to be a reliable retail partner," Lowa CEO Werner Riethmann said in a statement.

To be able to keep up with demand, Lowa has continued to hire since 2009. The company said it expects to add climbing shoes and high-quality leather sandals to its collection.

--Compiled by David Clucas and Therese Iknoian

(Conversion of Euro into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of May 26, 2011)

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