Johnson Outdoors profits decline on higher operating expenses

Racine-based Johnson Outdoors Inc. today reported fiscal second quarter net income of $3.6 million, or 36 cents per share, down from $7.4 million, or 67 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2014.

The outdoor recreation company recorded operating income of $7.6 million, down from $11.5 million in the same period a year ago. Operating expenses were up $7 million, $2.6 million of which was increased legal expense related to litigation brought by the company asserting infringement of patents by a competitor. The company also spent more on promotional spending, sales volume related costs and warranty expense.

Revenue totaled $133.1 million, up from $124.3 million in the second quarter of 2014. The second quarter is usually boosted by pre-sales for the outdoor recreation industry’s warm-weather products season. Three of the company’s business units saw increased sales in the quarter, while Diving revenue was down 3 percent and foreign currency translation had a 2 percent negative impact on revenue.

“Topline performance is clearly benefitting from the diversity of our portfolio, with Minn Kota proving once again to be a formidable engine of growth,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Outdoors. “Likewise, continued efforts to strengthen performance in watercraft and consumer camping brands are having a positive impact. At the same time, we are working hard to address the complexity of challenges facing Diving, our most global business, and expect progress to occur over time. Our ongoing focus on innovative new products provides our brands a distinct advantage heading into the warm-weather season. While patent-protection litigation costs haves significantly impacted profits, our core business is solid and well-positioned for growth through the season.”

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