On a reported basis, gross margin was 41.4% in the first quarter, compared with 42.1% in the same quarter of 2019, in line with expectations according to Wolverine Worldwide. Operating margin was 3.8% (Q1 2019: 10%) and adjusted operating margin was 6.9%, compared with 10.9% in the prior year. Diluted earnings per share stood at US$0.16, compared with US$0.43 in the first quarter of 2019, while adjusted diluted earnings per share were US$0.28. Inventory at the end of the quarter was up 8.4% versus the prior year and, excluding new businesses, was up 5.2%.

“Following record financial results in the fourth quarter of 2019, we delivered strong first-quarter earnings results, despite challenging conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic late in the quarter”, said Blake W. Krueger, Chairman, CEO and President, Wolverine Worldwide, adding that the Group has quickly initiated a comprehensive set of measures over the last 30 days to proactively strengthen its financial position, liquidity and balance sheet in the face of the ongoing pandemic. “Our supply chain and distribution centres continue to operate, enabling strong e-commerce growth and continued wholesale shipments. We believe our agile business model, which includes our well-established global distribution network and fast-growing digital channels, is well-suited for the future consumer landscape”, said Krueger.

Wolverine Worldwide’s portfolio of brands includes Merrell, Sperry, Hush Puppies, Saucony, Wolverine, Keds, Stride Rite, Chaco, Bates and HYTEST.