Johnson Outdoors Posts 9% Growth in Fishing, 25% in Watercraft

RACINE, Wis., — Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq:JOUT), a leading global innovator of outdoor recreation equipment and technology, this week announced higher revenue and earnings for the 2020 fiscal year ending October 2, 2020. High demand for products in Fishing, Camping and Watercraft Recreation extended into the industry’s seasonally slow fiscal fourth quarter, driving higher sales and operating profit year-over-year for a strong finish to a challenging year.“The 2020 fiscal year was like no other year in our history. We started the year with a very strong first quarter, but the onset of the pandemic and the initial stay-at-home mandates cut short our momentum and significantly impacted our second and third quarters, the heart of our primary selling season. As those mandates eased, we saw demand ramp up and participation grow in Fishing, Camping and Watercraft Recreation. This positive late-season momentum resulted in a strong finish to the year,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The great outdoors offers the experiences and recreational activities that can rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit, and most importantly, are safe to enjoy. With strict safety procedures and protocols in place, the hard work and dedication of our employees enabled us to respond to robust demand.”


  • Significant consumer demand in Fishing, Camping and Watercraft Recreation
  • Digital and ecommerce leveraged as consumer buying behavior changed
  • New products command top industry awards
  • Strong cash flow
  • Increased quarterly dividend to shareholders
  • Organizational agility amid COVID-19 impacts

Total Company revenue grew 6 percent to $594.2 million versus fiscal 2019 revenue of $562.4 million. The company’s fiscal year ending October 2, 2020, comprised of 53 weeks compared to 52 weeks in the prior fiscal year. The additional week in fiscal 2020 drove an increase in net sales of approximately 1.5 percent over the prior year. Additional key factors in the year-over-year comparison were:

  • Continued demand for new and legacy technologies in Minn Kota® and Humminbird® drove a 9 percent increase in Fishing revenue
  • Strong demand across all product categories drove a 25 percent increase in Watercraft Recreation sales
  • Camping grew 3 percent due to higher sales in both Jetboil® and Eureka®, offset in part by a decrease in military tent sales
  • Pandemic-related global travel restrictions negatively impacted Diving revenue by 20 percent

Total Company operating profit was $71.1 million in fiscal 2020, which compared favorably to operating profit of $63.8 million in the prior fiscal year. Gross margins remained steady as improved cost absorption through higher volumes and a strong product mix helped offset a $1.0 million increase in tariff costs. Operating expenses increased $7.9 million versus the prior year due largely to volume-related expenses, but declined as a percentage of sales versus fiscal 2019.

Net income for the fiscal year improved to $55.2 million, or $5.47 per diluted share, a 7 percent improvement versus $51.4 million, or $5.11 per diluted share, in the last fiscal year. The effective tax rate was 25.1 percent compared to the previous fiscal year’s rate of 22.7 percent.

During the Company’s fourth quarter, the outdoor recreation industry is typically in ramp-down mode and sales are historically lower. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Company experienced increased demand during the final months of fiscal 2020 as consumers continued to look for ways to recreate outdoors. As a result, each of our Fishing, Camping and Watercraft Recreation segments experienced strong demand in the latter half of the current fiscal year, and total Company net sales in the quarter increased 58 percent year over year to $164.7 million.

Operating profit was $19.5 million in the current year fourth quarter versus $1.9 million in the prior year fourth quarter, due largely to increased sales. Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $15.5 million compared to $3.9 million in fiscal 2019.

“Strong demand in Fishing, Camping and Watercraft Recreation continued into the fourth quarter, and the challenge has been keeping pace with demand. Ongoing travel restrictions continued to limit accessibility to destination diving, but the team has been working hard to put our Diving brand in a strong position for when travel returns,” said Johnson-Leipold. “Looking ahead, we believe the power of our innovation, the enduring strength of our brand equities and the diversity of our outdoor recreation portfolio continue to well-position Johnson Outdoors for the future.”

The Company reported cash and short-term investments of $212.4 million as of October 2, 2020, a $40.1 million increase above the prior year, with no debt on its balance sheet. Depreciation and amortization were $14.9 million compared to $14.0 million in fiscal 2019. Capital spending totaled $15.6 million in fiscal 2020 compared with $16.8 million in fiscal 2019. In September 2020, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a 23 percent increase in the quarterly cash dividend to shareholders of record as of October 9, 2020, which was payable on October 23, 2020.

“We will continue to scale operations consistent with demand, given the ongoing unpredictability surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on participation levels and outdoor recreation markets,” said David W. Johnson, Chief Financial Officer. “Looking ahead, our debt-free balance sheet and our healthy cash position will continue to be beneficial as we make smart investments to strengthen the business and drive value for our shareholders.”

The Company will host a conference call and audio web cast at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, December 11, 2020. A live listen-only web cast of the conference call may be accessed at Johnson Outdoors’ home page. A replay of the call will be available for 30 days on the Internet.

About Johnson Outdoors Inc. 

JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global innovator of outdoor recreation equipment and technologies that inspire more people to experience the awe of the great outdoors. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft Recreation, Fishing, Diving and Camping.  Johnson Outdoors’iconic brands include: Old Town® canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak; Carlisle® paddles; Minn Kota® fishing motors, batteries and anchors; Cannon® downriggers; Humminbird® marine electronics and charts; SCUBAPRO® dive equipment; Jetboil® outdoor cooking systems; and, Eureka!®camping and hiking equipment.