Continued demand for outdoor recreation products from people stuck indoors during the Covid pandemic helped Johnson Outdoors to report a surge in second-quarter sales and profits. Total sales rose by 26 percent year-on-year for the period ended on April 2, reaching a level $206.2 million. The group’s gross margin dipped slightly to 45.2 percent, due primarily to increases in tariffs and freight costs, but the operating profit rose to $36 million from $31.8 million, leading to a 37 percent increase in net earnings to $27.8 million.

High demand across all product lines propelled a 19.5 percent increase in fishing revenues to $160 million, generating a 23 percent improvement in operating profit to $40.4 million. Watercraft recreation and camping sales, the latter comprising the Jetboil and Eureka! brands, rose significantly due to strong demand across all product categories. Watercraft revenues nearly tripled to $17.7 million from $6 million in the quarter, leading to an operating profit of $2.8 million versus a loss a year ago. Camping revenues increased by 61 percent to $14.2 million, and the segment’s operating profit quadrupled to $3.0 million.

However, global pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns led to a slight fall in revenues from the underwater diving segment (Scubapro); down to $14.20 million from $14.26 million, and its operating loss expanded by 54 percent to $1.3 million. “In diving … we’re continuing our work to promote and support local diving, taking steps to simplify our diving business during this challenging time, and enhancing our digital presence globally with new European websites and e-commerce,” said the management.

For the first half of the financial year, sales of $371.8 million showed a 28 percent increase from the year ago period across the group. The gross margin improved to 45.3 percent from 44.2 percent and the operating profit rose by 54.4 percent to $59.6 million.

The management said it is continuing to work with its supply chain partners to maintain adequate inventory and increase capacity where possible.