Net income returned to growth for Mizuno Corp. in the fourth quarter of its financial year, ended March 31, with net earnings rising by 28 percent to ¥1,811 million yen (€13,636-$16,550). The quarterly revenues fell by 7 percent to ¥43.7 billion (€329.1m-$399.4m), growing only in the Americas region because of the boom in the golf segment.

Quarterly nevenues were down by 4 percent in the domestic Japanese market, by 24 percent in EMEA and by 34 percent in Asia/Oceania. The quarterly gross margin improved by 1.5 percentage points to 40.0 percent. Operating expenses were reduced by 7 percent.

For the full financial year, the company reported a decline of 11.4 percent in consolidated revenues to ¥150.4 billion (€1.1m-$1.4m). A decrease in the gross margin of 0.4 percentage points to 40.3 percent offset the positive effect of a 10 percent cut in operating costs, leading to a drop of 1.2 percentage points in the operating margin, down to 2.5 percent of sales. Net earnings fell by 19.0 percent to ¥3.7 billion (€27.9m-$33.8m).

The Covid-19 pandemic led to sales declines in all the regions including EMEA, where the company recorded an operating loss on 14 percent lower revenues of ¥13.0 billion (€97.9m-$118.8m). Sales of golf equipment were nearly flat in the region, while footwear and apparel were off by 14 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Sales declines were also recorded on a global basis in all the product categories, including footwear and equipment.

The company is forecasting an operating income of ¥5.0 billion on sales of ¥175.0 for the current fiscal year. Golf and running are seen as the drivers in the medium term, particularly in international markets.