Johnson Outdoors recovers from loss

Among the products Johnson Outdoors makes are compasses.

Racine-based Johnson Outdoors Inc. today reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $1.2 million, or 12 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $786,000, or 8 cents lost per share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Among the products Johnson Outdoors makes are compasses.

Operating profit was $1.1 million, compared with an operating loss of $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The outdoor equipment manufacturer decreased its operating expenses from $35.3 million last year to $32.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Fourth quarter revenue totaled $85.7 million, up from $85 million in the same period a year ago.

For the full year, Johnson Outdoors reported net income of $10.6 million, or $1.06 per share, up from $9.1 million, or 90 cents per share, in 2014. New products and a lower effective tax rate drove the company’s growth.

Full-year operating profit was $17.9 million, up from $16.7 million in 2014. Johnson Outdoors’ 2015 operating expenses increased to $153.9 million, from $143.4 million in 2014. The company attributed the improved operating profit to increased sales volume and higher gross margins.

And 2015 revenue totaled $430.5 million, up from $425.4 million last year.

The company pointed to its more even footing as a positive sign, but cautioned that its Diving segment could suffer from global uncertainty.

“Performance this year reflects continued progress in our efforts to strengthen capability and capacity to enhance sustained long-term profitable growth,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and chief executive officer. “Innovation is our lifeblood and new products like the Minn Kota Ulterra Humminbird  Helix series of fishfinders, Old Town Predator XL Minn Kota, and the Jetboil Mini Mo and Genesis cooking systems generated strong consumer demand and positive seasonal market momentum that carried over into the fourth quarter. With Watercraft and Outdoor Gear now on firm profitable growth trajectories, we expect to steadily see a better balance of profits across our businesses. The strong U.S. dollar constrained the year’s results for Diving, our most global business, and it is unclear to what extent recent geopolitical tensions may affect travel to popular dive destinations going forward. We believe our iconic SCUBAPRO brand is well-positioned to grow penetration and share in core life-support product categories, as we work to invigorate innovation in underwater electronics and computers.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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