Johnson Outdoors Says Fiscal 2013 Operating Profits Hit 20-plus Year High

Johnson Outdoors Inc. reported double-digit growth in operating profit on higher revenue, and a 90 percent improvement in net income year-over-year for fiscal year ended Sept. 27.

Fiscal 2013 highlights:

  • Acquisition of Jetboil, the world leader in personal outdoor cooking systems
  • New financing agreement with reduced borrowing costs and improved terms
  • Historic low debt with $55.7 million in cash at year-end
  • Highest operating profit in over 20 years
  • Initiation of quarterly dividend

“Fiscal 2013 results reflect continued progress toward our long-term goal of sustained profitable growth. Investments in innovation and strategic acquisitions once again drove growth in the marketplace against fierce competition for the outdoor enthusiast’s discretionary dollars,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Looking forward, more work lies ahead to achieve a better balance of profitability across our portfolio. Our 2015 strategic plan is focused on sustaining leadership in fishing electronics, gaining share in core dive equipment segments and improving performance in key paddling and camping specialty channels. To do so, we will be strategic and disciplined in efforts to strengthen the profitability profile of our businesses and deliver meaningful value plus to all our stakeholders.”

Fiscal year results
Total company net sales increased 3.4 percent to $426.5 million in fiscal 2013 versus $412.3 million in fiscal 2012 due to record sales in Marine Electronics and growth in Outdoor Gear, which more than offset lower revenue in other units. For the ninth consecutive year, new products represented a third or more of total company sales. Key contributing factors in the year-over-year comparison were:

  • Continued growth in Minn Kota and Humminbird brands across key channels, as both brands exceeded $100 million in sales for the year.
  • Outdoor Gear revenue increased 25 percent due to the addition of the Jetboil brand, which added $10.7 million in sales during the year and more than offset declines in government tent sales. Jetboil was acquired midway thru the 2013 first fiscal quarter.
  • Declines in Diving reflect the continued weak economic conditions in Europe and weather-related delays in the diving season in other key markets.
  • Watercraft sales were 13 percent below the prior year. The unfavorable comparison was due to continued de-emphasis on low-margin product lines and lower sales in Europe, where the company closed its Watercraft operations.

Total company operating profit rose 20 percent to a 20-plus year high of $25.6 million for fiscal 2013 compared to operating profit of $21.4 million in fiscal 2012 (a year in which the company benefitted from a favorable $3.5 million legal settlement). Higher volume, lower operating expense and record profit in Marine Electronics were key contributing factors in the favorable year-over-year comparison.

Net income for the fiscal year of $19.3 million, or $1.95 per diluted share, was a 90 percent increase compared with net income of $10.1 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, in the prior fiscal year. A lower effective tax rate in the current year contributed largely to the favorable year-over-year comparison.

The company reported cash, net of debt, of $47.4 million as of September 27, 2013, just $2.7 million below the prior fiscal year-end despite the $15.4 million acquisition of Jetboil in the current fiscal year. On October 9, 2013 the company announced that the Board of Directors had approved a quarterly cash dividend, which if approved each quarter would represent a fiscal 2014 annual payout of $0.30 and $0.27 for Class A and Class B shareholders, respectively.