Columbia Sportswear’s net sales grew by 11.3 percent to an all-time high of $289.6 million in the 1st quarter, and they were up by 9.6 percent in constant currencies. The growth was attributed to higher shipments of Columbia branded sportswear in the USA and Europe, as well as other markets outside of the American company’s domestic market.
The gross margin improved by 0.8 percentage points to 43.7 percent. Operating income rose by 34.2 percent to $37,333,000, while net income reached $26,086,000, up from $19,467,000 in the year-ago quarter. The large improvement in income stemmed from better margins and lower expenses.
Turnover in Europe rose by 12.7 percent to $54.1 million, including a 2.7 percent increase in euros. Sales in Canada were off by 2.3 percent to $25.8 million, but were flat on a currency-neutral basis. All other sales outside of the USA climbed by 30.9 percent to $54.2 million, up by 30.4 percent in constant currencies. In USA turnover grew by 7.7 percent to $155.5 million.
For sales by product, sportswear climbed by 15.0 percent to $163.1 million, outerwear was up by 8.3 percent to $59.8 million, footwear increased by 4.3 percent to $52.9 million and accessories and equipment rose by 10.4 percent to $13.8 million.
Columbia’s Mountain Hardwear subsidiary reported sales growth of 9.9 percent to $17.7 million. Sportswear was the fastest growing category for the company, with sales of women’s products dominating. The greatest challenge for Mountain Hardwear during the quarter was Europe, where it was negatively affected by the warm weather. Overall, Columbia is projecting revenues for the fiscal year to grow by 5 percent, generating earnings of about $145 million.