By Thomas J. Ryan

Helly Hansen sales grew 20.4 percent in the fourth quarter, to Canadian $199.7 million ($151 mm). Allan Angus MacDonald, EVP of retail for Canadian Tire Corp., said on a conference call with analysts, “Helly Hansen has also been outstanding, ramping up fast, with sales doubling at Sport Chek year-over-year and nearly the same as Mark’s.”

For the year, Helly Hansen’s revenue for 2019 was C$650.8 million ($491 mm). Helly Hansen was acquired by Canadian Tire on July 3, 2018, so year-ago comparisons aren’t relevant.

Stephen Wetmore, president and CEO, Canadian Tire said that while almost 80 percent of Helly Hansen’s revenues in 2019 were generated internationally, the brand’s Canadian business “is growing very well and in line with our expectations.”

He added, “Helly Hansen’s leadership team is also making important progress developing key market opportunities through improved brand awareness in the U.S. and new European markets and has executed as planned on marketing investments to further build the brand, which also saw a 6-point improvement to its already impressive NPS score in 2019. There is significant growth potential for the brand globally, and we will update you on our progress during the course of the coming year.”

Sales at The SportChek segment were up 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter with comparable sales gaining 2.0 percent. Overall SportChek’s revenues, including franchises, reached C$619.4 million ($467 mm) in the quarter against C$602.5 million, a gain of 2.8 percent.

For the full-year, SportChek’s retail sales increased 2.6 percent and comparable sales increased 3.3 percent. Sales in the year were C$2.04 billion ($1.54 bn) against C$1.99 billion, a gain of 2.2 percent.

The SportChek segment includes Pro Hockey Life, a hockey specialty store catering to elite players as well as SportChek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport, and Atmosphere. The segment had 402 stores versus 409 a year ago.

MacDonald said SportChek’s sales for the year were above the retailer’s expectations. He added, “The Sport Chek banner specifically achieved a strong 3.8 percent comp, holding share in a highly competitive market. These results are very encouraging and prove the repositioning that’s been underway at Sport Chek is having an impact as the business continues to grow.”

Companywide, consolidated retail sales increased C$200.5 million in the fourth quarter, or 4.3 percent over the same period in 2018. Excluding Petroleum, consolidated retail sales were up 5.1 percent over the same period last year. Consolidated revenue increased C$185.0 million, or 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Excluding Petroleum, consolidated revenue increased 5.1 percent.

Diluted EPS was C$5.42 in the quarter, up C$1.43 per share, or 35.7 percent, compared to the prior year. Normalized diluted EPS in the quarter was C$5.53, an increase of C$0.75 per share or 15.7 percent.

For the full-year, consolidated retail sales increased C$384.3 million, or 2.5 percent, over the prior year. Excluding Petroleum, consolidated retail sales increased 3.9 percent.

Consolidated revenue increased C$475.7 million for the full-year, or 3.4 percent, over the prior year. Excluding Petroleum, consolidated revenue increased 5.0 percent.

Diluted EPS was C$12.58, an increase of C$1.94 per share, or 18.3 percent, over the prior year. Normalized diluted EPS of C$13.04 increased C$1.09 per share or 9.1 percent.

“We had an exceptionally strong Q4 that capped off a solid last half of 2019,” said Wetmore. “Through our Triangle Rewards program, customers are engaging with us more frequently, both in our stores and digitally, driving our topline growth as well as making us one of Canada’s largest e-commerce players.

Photo courtesy Helly Hansen / Shown LifaLoft Jacket, an exclusive collaboration combining HH’s LIFA technology with Primaloft insulation. Learn more here.