The Portland, Ore.-base company’s net income for the fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31, 2015, increased 14 percent to $63.4 million, or 90 cents per diluted share (EPS). Analysts had predicted EPS of 76 cents.
Revenues also rose, gaining 3 percent (or 7 percent on a constant-currency neutral basis), to $699.4 million. That number upstaged market watchers’ estimates for revenues of $684.6 million.
“2015 was another outstanding year for Columbia Sportswear Co. Record net sales, record operating income, expanded operating margin and record net income validate that our strategies are driving growth and improved profitability. The Columbia, Sorel and Prana brands each generated double-digit constant-currency net sales growth, concentrated in North America,” Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle said in a release. “In Europe, the Columbia brand achieved mid-20-percent constant-currency growth and began reclaiming share in key markets. We had high expectations entering the year and are encouraged that we exceeded those expectations despite unseasonably warm weather, macroeconomic challenges and currency headwinds in many of our key markets.”
Boyle added, “We believe this illustrates that active consumers appreciate the versatility and relevance of our brands, each offering products that connect them with their passions year-round in all weather conditions.”
For the full year, net sales increased $225.6 million, or 11 percent (15 percent constant-currency), to $2.3 billion. Net income increased 27 percent to $174.3 million, or $2.45 per diluted share.
For FY16, the company said it expects mid-single-digit net sales growth, including approximately 1 percentage point negative effect from changes in currency exchange rates; net income of between $179 million and $186 million, or approximately $2.55 to $2.65 per diluted share; and operating income of between $257 million and $267 million, representing operating margin of up to 10.8 percent of net sales.
“Looking forward to 2016, our balance sheet gives us the financial flexibility to continue to drive sales growth, expand gross margins, increase brand awareness through investments in demand-creation and prioritize SG&A investments strategically to further strengthen our brands and improve profitability,” Boyle said.
Much of the company’s sales growth in the quarter came from the U.S., as sales in some international markets declined. Revenues in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) declined 15 percent; Canada sales dropped 7 percent; and Latin America and Asia Pacific (LAAP) decreased 4 percent.
Columbia brand net sales increased 7 percent (10 percent constant-currency) to $1.86 billion; Sorel brand net sales increased 26 percent (34 percent constant-currency) to $209.2 million; and Prana brand net sales increased 133 percent to $125.3 million.