RACINE, Wis., — Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq:JOUT), a leading global innovator of outdoor recreation equipment and technology, today announced higher sales and earnings during the Company’s first fiscal quarter ending Friday, January 1, 2021.“Strong demand in the Company’s Fishing, Camping and Watercraft Recreation businesses delivered an unprecedented first fiscal quarter. Diving continues to be impacted by travel restrictions, but will benefit from our ongoing efforts to ensure the SCUBAPRO® brand is well-positioned when travel returns,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Indications are that people’s eagerness to get outdoors will continue through the season, but the COVID-19 pandemic still brings uncertainty. We’re focused on working hard to keep pace with demand and leveraging our market-leading brands and innovation to maximize the heightened interest in outdoor recreation.”

FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased consumer interest and participation in the great outdoors which created high demand for outdoor recreation products during the last half of the prior fiscal year. In the first fiscal 2021 quarter, customers looked to replenish inventory levels in anticipation of the fiscal 2021 warm-weather recreation season. As a result, total Company net sales in the first quarter rose 29 percent year over year to $165.7 million, versus $128.1 million in the prior year fiscal quarter. Key contributing factors to the results were:

  • Strong demand for new and core technologies across all Fishing brands drove a 28 percent increase in revenue for the segment.
  • Watercraft Recreation and Camping sales also rose significantly due to continued demand across all product categories.
  • Diving sales declined 14 percent year over year due largely to ongoing pandemic-related global travel restrictions.

Total Company operating profit was $23.6 million for the first fiscal quarter versus $6.8 million in the prior year first quarter.  The increase was driven primarily by the sales growth year over year.  Gross margin increased 3.4 points on higher absorption of fixed costs due to increased sales volume and an improved product mix.  Operating expenses increased $4.7 million over the prior year period due primarily to higher sales volume-related costs. Additionally, the impact of favorable market conditions on the Company’s deferred compensation plan assets resulted in approximately $1.4 million of higher deferred compensation expense, which was entirely offset by a gain in Other Income.

Net income increased to $19.8 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, versus $6.4 million, or $0.64 per diluted share in the previous year’s first quarter. The Company’s effective tax rate was 23.7 percent compared to an effective tax rate of 25.1 percent in the prior year first quarter.

OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION

The Company reported cash and short-term investments of $195.9 million as of January 1, 2021. Depreciation and amortization were $3.5 millioncompared to $3.4 million in the previous year’s quarter. Capital spending totaled $4.4 million in the current quarter compared with $3.3 million in the prior year quarter. In December 2020, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend to shareholders of record as of January 14, 2021, which was payable on January 28, 2021.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to manage risks associated with current global supply chain pressures and related logistics constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as we work to fill demand,” said David W. Johnson, Chief Financial Officer. “Furthermore, our debt-free balance sheet and healthy cash position provide a competitive advantage as we make smart investments to strengthen the business and drive value for shareholders for the long-term.”