Johnson Outdoors reported sales of $149.8 million for the fiscal second quarter ended March 31, which represented a 12 percent increase versus the same quarter a year ago. However, sales in the camping segment registered a 2 percent decrease to $11.4 million, which the company attributed to the restructuring of the retail sector across the outdoor market and higher than normal pre-season customer inventories. Still, the segment's operating profit improved slightly to $1,011,000.
The company said that the strong overall sales increase in the quarter reflected shipments to customers in anticipation of the retail-selling period for outdoor warm-weather products, as consumers prepare for the fishing season and spring-time activities. The revenue growth was driven, in particular, by strong new product momentum in the fishing and watercraft recreation businesses.
Revenues in the fishing business, which grew by 16 percent on an annualized basis, were driven by strong demand for new products in the Minn Kota and Humminbird brands. Watercraft recreation sales increased by 2 percent driven by the continued growth of Old Town, thanks to the successful launch of new products.
New core life support products led to a 6 percent revenue increase to $18.0 million in the group's diving business, which turned around to an operating profit of $311,000 from a loss of $704,000 in the year-ago period.
The company's overall gross margin improved to 43.3 percent thanks to a favorable mix and improved operating efficiencies in all units. The operating profit grew by 35 percent to $20.5 million and the net income of $14.0 million obtained for the period was 50 percent higher than in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
The company said its focus and investments in the months to come will continue to revolve around three key strategic plan priorities – richer consumer insights, enhanced innovation processes and digital sophistication.