Timberland Turnaround Continues

BOSTON — If its first quarter is any indication, Timberland Co. is poised to have a successful 2010.

The firm, which reported a better-than-expected 62 percent jump in quarterly earnings last Thursday, has long seen strength overseas, mostly from Europe and Asia, and the first quarter was no exception.

“Building on last quarter, Europe continued on a growth trajectory, led by strong performances in the U.K., Spain and Italy. Together, these three countries represent roughly half our European business,” Jeffrey Swartz, president and CEO, said on the firm’s conference call. “International success was broader than that, though. Timberland is doing [well in] every European country where we operate, despite uneven macroeconomic terms and continued consumer uncertainty.”

Sales in Europe rose 9 percent to $151.6 million, driven by strength in the Earthkeepers and classics businesses.

“Our first-quarter results are the consequence of a lot of hard work, a consistent strategy and solid execution,” CFO Carrie Teffner said on the call.

She noted, however, “We are faced with some challenges ahead from increased product input costs, such as labor, materials and transportation, as well as other macroeconomic factors from a still-recovering economy.” 

Last week, the Stratham, N.H.-based firm posted net income of $25.8 million, or 47 cents a diluted share, compared with earnings of $15.9 million, or 27 cents, the year earlier. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings per share of 28 cents in the latest quarter.

Total revenues rose to $317 million from $296.7 million. The company cited growth in North America, where sales inched up 2 percent to $121.9 million, driven, in part, by demand for hikers and boat shoes.