Crocs Finds Its Cool Again — Sales Climb Despite More Than 150 Store Closures

Crocs Inc. is off and running.

The lightweight-clog maker — which last year unveiled plans to close more than 150 stores — today reported first-quarter results that topped forecasts across the board as well as an outlook that signaled more growth to come.

Crocs, which has taken several measures to get its cool back in the U.S. over the past two years — including tapping Drew Barrymore for a partnership and debuting a buzzy London Fashion Week collaboration with Christopher Kane — posted Q1 sales of $283 million. Those results represented a gain of 6 percent over the comparable period and were well above Wall Street’s bet for sales of $272 million.

The company noted that it was able to best top-line growth despite a loss of $12 million stemming from aggressive store closures. By division, e-commerce grew 24.1 percent, wholesale grew 6.5 percent, and the retail channel delivered positive comparable store sales of 7.6 percent.

Net income gained more 70 percent year over year to $12.5 million, or 15 cents per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, earnings per diluted share were 16 cents, handily topping consensus forecasts for diluted EPS of 12 cents.

“The year is off to a strong start, with first-quarter results exceeding guidance on all metrics,” president and CEO Andrew Rees said in a statement. “Our spring/summer 2018 collection is being well-received, and our LiteRide launch surpassed our expectations. We continue to successfully execute against our strategic priorities and are increasing our guidance.”

Crocs now expects revenues to increase in the low single digits over 2017 revenues of $1,023.5 million, with double-digit e-commerce gains and moderate wholesale growth to more than offset lower retail revenues due to fewer stores and business model changes.

At market open, Crocs shares were up 2.6 percent to $15.54.

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