Profits Rise for Sorel Owner in Q4

Columbia Sportswear Co. today announced fourth quarter results after the market close.

The owner of Sorel, the Columbia brand and other outdoor labels said its fourth quarter net income increased 33.7 percent, to $84.7 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, topping forecasts for earnings per diluted share of $1.10. For the full year, net income climbed 10 percent, to $191.9 million, or $2.72 per diluted share.

Q4 revenues also advanced 3 percent, or 2 percent constant-currency, to $717.4 million, but analysts had expected revenues to reach $756.8 million. Full-year revenues grew 2 percent, to $2.38 billion.

Although the firm’s revenues were below forecasts, Columbia CEO Tim Boyle said he was particularly pleased with the company’s performance against a “challenging backdrop” in many of its major markets.

“We are particularly encouraged by the strong results we achieved in our Europe-direct markets, completing a second consecutive year of mid-20 percent constant-currency sales growth and returning that business to profitability after several challenging years,” Boyle said. “We also grew in the U.S., despite significant headwinds from customer bankruptcies, changing consumer shopping behavior, unseasonably warm weather and cautious wholesale customers.”

In the fourth quarter, Columbia brand sales increased 4 percent, to $552.3 million; Sorel brand revenues decreased 1 percent, to $103.8 million; Prana sales advanced 2 percent, to $28.2 million; and Mountain Hardwear revenues decreased 11 percent, to $31.3 million.

Looking ahead, the company expects 2017 net sales growth of approximately 4 percent, including 1 percentage point negative effect from changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Net income after non-controlling interest is expected to be between $192 million and $200 million, or $2.72 to $2.82 per diluted share.

As of 5:30 p.m. ET, Columbia’s shares were up more than 4 percent, to $53.29 in after-hours trading.

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