Rocky Brands Posts Revenue Uptick in Q1

Robust sales of work, Western and hunting footwear fueled Rocky Brands Inc.’s first-quarter revenue result, despite the impact of increased expenses and a bump in advertising spending.

The Nelsonville, Ohio-based firm reported net income of $700,000, or 10 cents a diluted share, below analyst expectations for 12 cents and down from 12 cents in the same period a year earlier.

Sales jumped 22.5 percent to $65.8 million, up from $53.7 million a year earlier.

Rocky President and CEO David Sharp said in a statement, “2014 is off to a strong start, driven by robust gains across our wholesale business.”

He added that each of the company’s major product categories posted strong double-digit sales increases due to strong consumer demand and favorable weather for outerwear.

Commenting on the outlook, Sharp said, “We are committed to investing in our brands to drive sustainable growth. This includes initiatives that impacted first-quarter profitability.” He noted that strategies employed in the first quarter are expected to yield improved profitability in the second half of the year and beyond.

“Foremost, we supported a seeding program with a key retail partner, funded additional advertising to promote our legacy brands and experienced start-up expenses to support Creative Recreation,” Sharp said.

Rocky shares closed 1 cent lower at $14.11 on Wednesday.