Profits Up at Rocky Brands

Rocky Brands Inc. saw third-quarter earnings jump 17 percent, despite a decrease in revenues, thanks in part to expense management.

The Nelsonville, Ohio-based firm said Thursday at the close of the stock market that net earnings were $2.8 million, or 50 cents, compared with income of $2.4 million, or 43 cents, a year ago. Revenues fell 8 percent to $66.6 million.

“For the fifth consecutive quarter we lowered our operating expenses [by] double digits on a percentage basis as we continue to remove costs from our retail division by transitioning more customer transactions to the Internet,” said Mike Brooks, chairman and CEO, in a Thursday press release. “At the same time, our ability to more effectively manage our inventory levels and receivables decreased borrowings under our credit facility and lowered our interest expense by 14 percent.”

Selling, general and administrative expenses fell about 15 percent, the firm said, to $18.6 million, totaling 28 percent of sales, versus 30 percent of sales a year ago. Inventory levels decreased 18 percent.

Brooks added: “Equally important, we began to see some stabilization of our sales base with several of our wholesale categories — hunting, Western and duty — reporting positive gains. With inventories at retailers relatively clean, we are optimistic we will continue to benefit from a higher frequency of reorders, and we are confident that we can deliver improved profitability year-over-year during the fourth quarter.”

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