Despite promising returns from growing international markets, Fortune BrandsÂ’ Acushnet Golf continued to see sales slide for the third fiscal quarter ended Sept 30. Net sales fell 3.4% to $307.9 million from $318.6 million in the year ago period.

 

Acushnet, which encompasses golf brands Titleist, Cobra and FootJoy, reported income from operations for the third quarter fiscal 2008 were $24 million, a 20% decline from $30 million reported for the year-ago period.


The company said double-digit sales gains for key Asian markets partly offset soft U.S. and European sales. Management noted that lower reported golf rounds and reduced consumer discretionary income in the U.S. and Europe were a pre-indicator of softening sales for both regions. 

 

Management emphasized that markets in Korea, Japan and China have provided “excellent growth opportunities” as international markets now represent 40% of golf brand sales for the company.


Golf club sales for the company benefited from the launch of the Titleist AP1 and AP2 irons as well as the release of new Scotty Cameron putters, while FootJoy golf shoes were slightly down and gloves and accessories remained relatively flat for the period.


Citing the lagging economy, management adjusted full year operating income projections, with current estimates forecasting it to be down at a mid-high-teens rate.