Johnson Outdoors reported a 23 percent increase in net income to $8.9 million for its second fiscal quarter ended March 29. Sales increased by 3 percent to $132.1 million as higher sales in Marine Electronics and Outdoor Gear more than offset revenue declines in other business units.
The Outdoor Gear segment posted a sales increase of 7.0 percent in the quarter to $10.09 million due to the acquisition of the Jetboil brand last November, which added $2.4 million to sales during the second quarter, which more than offset a 42 percent decline in military sales. Johnson's outdoor brands include Silva compasses, Jetboil outdoor cooking systems, and Eureka! camping and hiking equipment.
However, the outdoor segment ran into an operating loss of $268,000 compared with a profit of $831,000 a year earlier. The company's Watercraft segment also moved from a profit to a loss as sales fell by 19.4 percent to $13.75 million due to a continuing de-emphasis on low-margin product lines and lower sales in Europe. Watercraft brands include Old Town canoes and kayaks, Ocean Kayak and Necky kayaks, Carlisle paddles and Extrasport personal flotation devices.
Diving sales were down to $20.82 million, 5.8 percent behind the previous year due to weak economic conditions in key diving markets, but the segment's operating margin improved to 10.1 percent from 7.7 percent a year ago. The segment sells Scubapro and Subgear diving equipment, and the management claims that the two brands have a global market share of 20 percent, while the higher-priced Scubapro brand controls 40 percent of the premium market.
On a geographical basis across all divisions, growth in North America and northern Europe more than offset declines in the challenging markets of southern Europe.
The company's operating profit of $12.6 million for the second quarter was $1.3 million below the previous year's quarter, a period during which the company had benefitted from a $3.5 million settlement with its insurance carriers. Higher gross margins were driven by successful new products in Marine Electronics.
The company said that it is still too early to predict its performance for the full year. Comprehensive efforts are underway to reinvigorate the Watercraft and Camping businesses, and deliver innovation in core life-support categories in Diving. The company's management is optimistic about the possibility of meeting its goal of consistently growing profits faster than sales through 2015.
For the first six months of Johnson's current fiscal year, revenues grew by 5 percent to $219.4 million and net profit increased by 112 percent to $9.2 million.