Pre-season demand boosts Johnson Outdoors

New products increase sales in marine electronics

Johnson Outdoors Inc. makes the Humminbird brand of fish finders and other marine electronics.
Johnson Outdoors Inc. makes the Humminbird brand of fish finders and other marine electronics.

Johnson Outdoors Inc. today reported that strong pre-season demand for new fishing products helped drive increased revenue, but the Racine-based manufacturer of outdoor recreation products still ended the first quarter of fiscal 2016 with a net loss.

Strong pre-season sales of products in the Humminbird brand helped drive an improved quarter for Johnson Outdoors Inc.
Strong pre-season sales of products in the Humminbird brand helped drive an improved quarter for Johnson Outdoors Inc.

The net loss of $534,000 was a major improvement from the $4.2 million loss during the same period in fiscal 2015. The company’s earnings improved from a loss of 42 cents per diluted share to just a 5 cent per share loss.

The company’s revenue for the quarter was $85.3 million, a 20 percent increase from the same quarter in 2015. The jump in revenue was driven by $58.6 million in sales for the marine electronics segment,  a 34.6 percent increase from the previous year’s quarter. The company credited new products in the Minn Kota and Humminbird brands for driving the increase.

“We are very pleased by our strong start to the fiscal year. Our fishing, camping and water recreation businesses are heading into the key selling period for our products during the next six months with strong, positive momentum,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Johnson Outdoors chairman and chief executive officer.

The company did see an 8 percent decrease in revenue in its diving segment with $14.3 million in sales compared with $15.5 the previous year. The company said geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and unfavorable currency exchange rates contributed to the drop.

The watercraft segment had revenue up 17 percent to $6.4 million while the outdoor equipment segment was down slightly at $6.3 million.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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