Camelbak, the American company specializing in hydration packs, lifted its sales by 6.3 percent to $148.7 million last year. The increase was driven by more sales of bottles and gloves, while sales of hydration systems slightly declined.
This drop in sales of hydration systems was reportedly attributed to the company having obtained large contracts in 2013 from the United States Marine Corps, which were not repeated. Camelbak's turnover in bottles improved in both U.S. and international markets, with products such as the Eddy, the Podium range of insulated bottles, the ergonomic high-flow Chute bottle and the Relay filtered pitcher. Hydration systems and bottles accounted for about 87 percent of the group's turnover last year.
The share of Camelbak's international sales increased to about 25 percent last year, up from 22 percent in 2013. Military sales amounted to about 21 percent of the group's turnover in 2014, down from 29 percent the previous year, due to the absence of the Marine Corps contract and a decline in other such orders.
Camelbak's gross profit margin dropped by 1.6 percentage points to 42.2 percent for the year, due to an unfavorable mix in bottles and hydration systems. A more favorable factor for the gross margin was that the company did not repeat the discounted glove sales that occurred in 2013.
Selling, general and administrative expenses increased by 4.4 percent, amounting to 23.9 percent of sales, due to marketing costs for product launches and severance costs taken in the first half of 2014 for the closure of an international sales office.
Camelbak closed its European office in Italy and European sales are supervised from London by Andrew Shand, the senior director of sales of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Camelbak's adjusted Ebitda for the year landed at $33.1 million, slightly more than $32.3 million for the previous year, and net income of $4.6 million was recorded for Camelbak last year, compared with $4.0 million the previous year.
Camelbak's turnover made up about 15.1 percent of sales at Compass Diversified Holdings (Codi), which acquired the company in 2011. The entire group saw its sales slip by 0.3 percent to $982.3 million and its operating income was more than halved to $55.7 million.
It still ended the year with net income of $291.2 million, up from $78.8 million, due to a gain of $264.3 million on the de-consolidation of Fox Factory Holding, in which Codi retains a stake of about 41 percent.
The group bought two middle-market companies last year and said it was geared for more. The acquisitions last year included Sterno Candle Lamp, which is well known in the outdoor sector for its Sterno branded fuel canisters, stoves and fire starters for camping, tailgating and other uses.
Codi strengthened its financial position last year by completing a 6.0 million share offering, which generated proceeds of about $100 million, and it obtained $725 million in new debt financing under what it described as attractive terms.