Mizuno Takes Hit in Q1

Strong running sales buoyed an otherwise lackluster quarter at Mizuno Corp.

For the first quarter ended June 30, the Osaka, Japan-based athletic firm earned a net income of 1.3 billion yen, or $16.6 million at current exchange, a 34.5 percent decrease from 1.9 billion yen, or $24.2 million, a year ago.

The bottom line was hit by an increase in selling, general and administrative expenses attributable to active investments in the year of the Olympics and higher purchasing costs, but mitigated by a 2.6 percent increase in sales, to 42.6 billion yen, or $543.4 million.

The firm said in a statement that running drove the overall footwear business, while soccer and volleyball shoe and apparel sales “remained firm, backed by the strong showing of Mizuno’s contracted players and teams in Japan.” Sales of walking shoes also remained strong.

In the U.S., high demand for the Wave Rider 15 running shoe helped buoy sales.

Despite the financial crisis in Europe, Mizuno saw double-digit sales growth on a currency-neutral basis in the U.K. and France, thanks to aggressive efforts to boost demand for footwear and sports apparel products.

Mizuno is forecasting a full-year net income of 3.8 billion, or $48.5 million, on revenue of 167 billion, or $2.1 billion.

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