Rocky Brands increases wholesale and retail sales in Q4, sees end-of-year debt plummet
Nelsonville, Ohio-based outdoor footwear company Rocky Brands, Inc. reported its fourth quarter and full year 2017 results this Tuesday, announcing mid-single digit growth in its retail and wholesale sales in Q4, as well as impressive progress in reducing its funded debt over the year.
Net income in the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2017 hit $4.4 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $0.6 million, or ($0.09) per diluted share for the same period in the previous year.
Net sales for the period were flat compared to the previous fourth quarter at $67.0 million. By division, wholesale sales were up 4.7% to $44.4 million, compared to $42.4 million in Q4 2016, while sales in the company’s retail division increased 4.9% to $14.4 million compared to $13.7 million in the previous year. Sales in the company’s military segment, however, were down from $10.9 million in Q4 2016 to $8.2 million in 2017.
Gross margin in the quarter was $23.3 million, or 34.8% of sales, compared to $21.8 million, or 32.5% of sales, for the same period in 2016, up 230 basis points. Income from the company’s operations came to $3.7 million, compared to an operating loss of $1.2 million in the same period in the previous year.
For fiscal 2017, net sales were down to $253.2 million from $260.3 million in fiscal 2016. Net income, however, was up to $9.6 million, or $1.29 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.1
million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for fiscal 2016.
Rocky Brands’ funded debt also decreased by 84.9% during the year, from $14.6 million on December 31, 2016 to $2.2 million on December 31, 2017.
Jason Brooks, President and CEO of Rocky Brands, commented in a release, “We concluded a productive 2017 with a very solid fourth quarter performance which was highlighted by mid-single digit growth for both our wholesale and retail divisions.”
“While we face some headwinds in 2018 from expiring contracts and changes in market dynamics
for our military business and the sale of Creative Rec, we are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for growth in our wholesale and direct channels”, he added.
In November of last year, Rocky Brands sold its Creative Recreation brand to a private investment firm as part of a strategy to focus on its profitable categories, namely work, western, hunting and military.
It is a streamlining strategy that would appear to have worked well for the company, which was able to gradually reduce its debt throughout 2017 and has seen a series of modest increases in sales and income over the last few quarters.
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