Pre-season fishing sales boost Johnson Outdoors

Company credits new products for gains

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.

New products for fishing resulted in strong pre-season sales for Racine-based Johnson Outdoors Inc., pushing revenues higher during the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

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.

The company reported revenue of $93.7 million, a 9.9 percent increase over the same period last year. Johnson Outdoors also went from posting a $534,000 loss during the quarter to $4.1 million in net income during the period. Earnings improved from a loss of 5 cents to 40 cents per diluted share.

“We continue to benefit from our strategic focus and investments to enhance innovation as our new product line-up delivered a very strong start to the year. Cutting-edge technology advancements powered significant growth in fishing, and unique designs and improved functionality created positive momentum behind our entire new product line-up. We head into the all-important retail selling period for our products over the next six months well-positioned for continued marketplace success,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Johnson Outdoors chairman and chief executive officer.

Fishing led the company higher, reporting $67.1 million in revenue, up from $58.6 million. The company credited new products for the Minn Kota and Humminbird brands.

The company’s diving segment pushed higher with improved performance in North America and Europe. The watercraft recreation segment was slightly down and the camping segment declined because of a shift in order patterns.

“Ongoing efforts to improve operational efficiency are enabling us to keep working capital in check against the backdrop of the seasonal ebb and flow of demand in our outdoor recreational markets. Our top priority is to maintain the positive marketplace momentum and deliver another year of sustained profitable growth,” said Dave Johnson, Johnson Outdoors vice president and chief financial officer.

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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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