Wolverine Worldwide reported strong fourth quarter and fiscal 2021 results as the footwear conglomerate faced supply chain challenges head on.
The company — which owns Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Keds and others — saw revenues of $635.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, up 24.7% versus the prior year. As for its full fiscal 2021 numbers, the company reported revenue at $2.4 billion, up 34.8% versus the prior year.
“We are pleased that the company managed through a challenging supply chain to deliver nearly 25% revenue growth in the fourth quarter,” said Brendan Hoffman, Wolverine Worldwide’s president and CEO, in a statement. “I am thrilled to be leading the organization at such a pivotal time. Our strong portfolio of iconic brands combined with the operational foundation built over the last decade positions us to capitalize on very favorable consumer and category trends.”
Hoffman, who joined the company in 2020 from Vince and took the helm as CEO at the beginning of the year, noted that fiscal 2021 revenue exceeded 2019’s numbers. (These full-year comparisons exclude Sweaty Betty, which Wolverine acquired in Aug. 2021 in an all-cash deal valued at about $410 million.)
Wolverine said the acquisition will continue to fuel growth and enhance the company’s fast-growing e-commerce business, which saw revenue increase 58.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 versus the same period the prior year. (It doubled over 2019 levels). For the full year of 2021, e-commerce revenue was up 39.7% versus the prior year and up 109.4% versus 2019.
DTC revenue for the year grew by 47%, and increased as a percentage of total revenue from 15% in 2019 to 26% in 2021, Wolverine said.
Overall growth was fueled by the company’s four largest brands. On a pro-forma basis, Merrell was up 22% for the full year, Saucony increased 57%, Sperry grew 25% and Sweaty Betty increased 40%. Merrell and Saucony — two brands that saw notable gains during the pandemic — hit sales records for 2021, the company said.
Looking ahead, Wolverine also provided an initial revenue and earnings forecast for 2022. The company expects revenue to be in the range of $2.775 billion to $2.850 billion, representing growth of approximately 15% to 18.% in 2022.
“We expect to further unlock the growth potential of our brands as we deliver on our fiscal 2022 outlook of mid to high-teens revenue growth,” Hoffman added.