Black Diamond reported a minimal increase in sales from continuing operations during the third quarter to $39.4 million from $39.3 million a year ago, up by 3 percent in constant currencies. The gross margin contracted to 31.3 percent from 36.0 percent, due in part to the repatriation of some production from China to the U.S., but it would have reached 33.2 percent if currency level had remained the same, as 40 percent of the company's sales are outside the U.S.
Adjusted Ebitda went up by 61 percent to $1,693,000, thanks to the restructuring measures implemented in Europe and elsewhere. Net losses were reduced to $405,000 from $49,695,000 a year ago, when the company booked an extraordinary $49.9 million tax-related charge. Adjusted net earnings before non-cash items rose to $1,716,000 from $680,000.
The management predicted flat to 4 percent higher sales for the full financial year, with Ebitda rising by 16 percent. The results of the new European operation in Innsbruck are exceeding expectations, with strong orders from key accounts, and it seems to be headed for profitable growth. The company is also experiencing increased at-once orders from international distributors.
The downsizing of the apparel range will lead to a sales decline in the fourth quarter, but BD's new chief executive, John Walbrecht, said that apparel remains a long-term opportunity for further development, with some new types of products expected to come out by spring 2018. He also said that BD was interested in using its big cash pile to invest in assets generating sales of more than $250 million a year, operating in “adjacent segments” to climbing and other mountain sports.