Wolverine experience sales decline in first quarter

United States
Published:  05 May, 2015

Wolverine Worldwide reported flattish sales for its first quarter ended March 28, as mid single-digit growth from the Heritage Group and low single-digit growth from the Lifestyle Group were partially offset by a low single-digit revenue decline from the Performance Group.

Consolidated revenue increased to $631.4 million, up just 0.6% versus prior year revenue of $627.6 million. On a constant currency basis, revenue grew 3.4%. Retail store closures associated with the company’s realignment plan and the exit of the Patagonia Footwear license had a negative impact on reported revenue growth.

“Our first-quarter results reflect the continued strength of our brand portfolio and a global business model that is built on 15 brands, targeting multiple consumer groups, distribution channels and geographies,” commented Blake W. Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “We believe the strategic investments we are making in our brands – including investments in consumer-demand creation and omnichannel initiatives – position us to capitalise on the many opportunities we have identified to accelerate our growth around the world in 2016 and beyond.”

The company ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $121.3 million and net debt of $736.0 million, a reduction of $271.5 million from the same period last year.

“The company delivered earnings in the first quarter that exceeded our expectations,” commented Don Grimes, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Reported financial results were excellent given the negative impact of foreign exchange, incremental pension expense, and accelerated investments in demand creation and omnichannel initiatives. On a reported basis, low single-digit growth in the U.S and Latin America, and very strong double-digit growth in Asia Pacific contributed to the revenue gain in the quarter. On a constant currency basis, we were pleased to deliver revenue growth in almost all of our major geographic regions.”

Wolverine’s brand portfolio includes: Merrell, Sperry, Hush Puppies, Saucony, Wolverine, Keds, Stride Rite, Sebago, Cushe, Chaco, Bates and HYTEST. The company also is the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat and Harley-Davidson. The company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S and globally in approximately 200 countries and territories.

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