Brooks Running posted a 43 percent revenue increase in the U.S. market and a 41 percent increase on a local currencies across its European markets for 2012. In the face of strong results, Brooks Sports, which includes Brooks Running and Moving Comfort, will undergo a major realigning of its business structure, with a plan including both organizational and executive changes.
Growth in 2012 was driven by strong footwear sales in the U.S., where revenues grew by 45 percent to an implied $261 million, based on SGI sales figure for the previous year. U.S. orders grew by 31 percent. All footwear categories saw increased sales in the U.S. market, with the lightweight category leading the pack. PureProject held 12 percent of the retail dollar market share in lightweight running, up by 10 percent since December 2011. Strong sales results pushed Brooks to second place for overall retail dollar market share in the minimalist running footwear category.
In Europe, Brooks Running experienced strong growth despite a volatile euro currency and unstable consumer confidence across the region. Future orders increased by 25 percent. The revenue increase on the continent was driven by strong performance across all major European running markets.
Brooks' apparel business also registered a strong growth in 2012, with a 25 percent increase from the same period in 2011, driven by growing brand awareness and improved performance product.
The upcoming reorganization of Brooks Sports, headquartered in Bothell, Washington, near Seattle, will involve the creation of global functions and the management of its business divisions by geography. Changes were scheduled to become effective today. (Feb. 1) The new business structure will support four key functional groups: product, marketing, operations and corporate. Outside of these global functions, there will be four business divisions including North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), International Business Development and Global e-Commerce.
As part of a series of executive changes, David Bohan, the company's chief operating officer, has added the title of president. He will oversee global operations, the three regional divisions and global e-commerce. The current chief executive, Jim Weber, who has been at the helm since 2001, will focus on the long-term strategy for the company, with responsibilities at the global level including corporate, marketing and product functions. He will also continue to oversee Moving Comfort, the American brand of sports bras. Weber reports directly to Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, which is Brooks' parent company.
Dave Larson, Brooks' current senior vice president, will take on an expanded role as senior vice president for product and marketing. He will now lead both the product and marketing functions globally, combining product creation with category-defining activities. The company will also be looking to hire a chief financial officer.
In another development, the firm intends to establish a Canadian subsidiary next year, to be led by Dan Sheridan, who was recently named general manager for North America. In his new position, Sheridan will head national and specialty running sales in both the U.S. and Canada and will also oversee regional customer service, retail merchandising, and retail and events marketing.