Escalade, Inc., which owns a wide range of sports equipment, reported earnings in the first quarter vaulted 55.4 percent to $3.5 million, or 9 cents a share, while revenues climbed 20.6 percent to $33.4 million.
Gross margins were essentially unchanged at 32.4 percent against 32.5 percent a year ago in spite of increased research and development spending on new products. SG&A expenses increased 16 percent due to increased marketing efforts in new categories acquired during 2014 as well as in new products to be introduced in the future. As a percent of sales, SG&A declined to 17.7 percent from 18.5 percent a year ago due to the top-line growth.
In October 2014, Escalade acquired Cue & Case Sales, Inc., a leader in specialty billiard accessories. In November 2013, it bought DMI Sports, Inc., including indoor games and accessories such as darts, table tennis, game tables, and billiards. Its other brands include STIGA and Ping-Pong table tennis, Accudart and Unicorn darting; Goalrilla, Goaliath and Silverback sports training equipment and basketball goal systems; and Bear Archery, Trophy Ridge and Cajun Bowfishing hunting products.
“We are experiencing favorable retail sell-through trends and broad acceptance of our new product introductions,” stated Robert J. Keller, president and CEO. “To achieve sustained growth in our markets, we will continue to make strategic investments in product line expansion and new category entry.”