Outdoor equipment – the Jetboil, Silva and Eureka! brands of hiking and camping products - was the only segment of Johnson Outdoors that reported increased profits in the second quarter ended April 3. Its operating earnings jumped by 87 percent to $1,070,000 as compared to the same period a year ago on 11 percent higher sales of $12.16 million. Jetboil, which has high margins, performed particularly well.

Looking at the first half ended April 3, the outdoor gear segment showed a sales decline to $18.5 million from $19.3 million in the year-ago period, but its operating profit went up to $725,000 from $385,000.

For the whole group, operating earnings decreased in the latest quarter by 19 percent to a level of $7,623,000. Led by Scubapro, the diving segment fell to a loss of $369,000 from a profit of $605,000. It was the only one to record a sales decline, down by 3 percent to $17.9 million, due to foreign exchange translations. The management says it is working hard to address its challenges.

Sales increased by 5 percent to $13.9 million in the watercraft segment and by 9 percent to $89.3 million in marine electronics. The group's total revenues went up by 7 percent to $133.1 million in the quarter, and the growth would have been two percentage points higher if foreign exchange currencies had remained the same.

The group's operating profit fell to $7,623,000 in the quarter from $11,546,000 a year earlier due to $1.0 million in higher costs related to higher sales, increased legal expenses of $2.6 million, additional promotional spending of $1.4 million and higher warranty expenses worth $0.8 million.

The legal expenses relate to a lawsuit launched by Johnson against Garmin, accusing that company of infringing Johnson's patents on the side-imaging radar technology used by its Hummingbird fish finding operation. The extra legal costs amounted to $5.2 million for the first six months of Johnson's financial year, but they should fall away.

The bottom line showed a net profit of $3,646,000 for the second quarter, down from $7,404,000.