Johnson Outdoors reported sales ran up 54 percent year-over-year in the third quarter ended July 2, led by near double-digit gains in the Camping and Dive segments. Investments are being made in air freight to help offset supply chain disruptions.

Sales reached $213.6 million against $138.4 million a year ago. The year-ago period was depressed by COVID-19-related shutdowns.

“The warm weather outdoor recreation season is in high gear and continued strong demand and increased interest in outdoor activities delivered another quarter of unprecedented results,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO.

Year-to-date total company sales stand at $585.4 million, a 36 percent increase over last year’s fiscal nine-month period and up 28 percent for the 2019 nine-month period.

Gross margins of 45.7 percent rose slightly versus the prior-year quarter as increased costs due to tariffs and inbound air freight were more than offset by sales volume-driven operating efficiencies.

Total operating profit climbed 194 percent to $38.1 million from $12.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income for the quarter more than doubled to $28.8 million or $2.83 per share, from $12.9 million, or $1.27, a year ago.

Fishing Segment Revenues Climb 51 Percent
Fishing revenue increased 51.2 percent $155.3 million due to continued high demand across all product lines in Minn Kota and Humminbird. Operating profits in the fishing segment jumped 69.3 percent to $39.4 million.

Johnson-Leipold said high demand for Minn Kota and Humminbird technologies continued through the third quarter as innovations attracted both new and seasoned anglers. At Humminbird, the new Mega Live Imaging, shown below, captured Best in Electronics honors at this year’s ICAST, marking the brand’s 10th award in this category in the past 11 years.

“Mega Live Imaging delivers the clarity and detail of Mega Imaging in live-action, allowing anglers to see fish and structure in real-time, even watching fish on screen as they move in to bite as anglers moor,” said Johnson-Leipold.

Minn Kota’s Raptor Shallow Water Anchor continued to do well in its first full year on the market. Johnson-Leipold said, “The Raptor has two industry-first technologies, Auto Bottom Mode, which detects bottom density to determine the right anchoring force, and Active Anchoring, which continuously monitors anchoring force and adjusts automatically for stable bottom pinning.”

Johnson-Leipold said the fishing segment will look to build on its “successes to maintain our pipeline of exciting new products and to sustain Minn Kota and Humminbird’s leadership position in the fishing market.”

Camping Segment Sales Vault 84 Percent
In its Camping segment, sales increased 83.7 percent to $17.8 million. Operating profits in the segment improved to $4.3 million from $828,000.

The growth was fueled by higher sales for Jetboil’s Stash stove and Eureka! stoves and tents

“Demand for both Eureka! and Jetboil gear remained strong as people continue to be interested in all sorts of camping experiences from backyard to backcountry,” said Johnson-Leipold. “Demand for our Eureka! brand of tents and camp cooking technology is beating expectations, and in Jetboil, consumers continue to be excited about the super-light Stash stove that we launched earlier this year. Reducing weight on the trail is critical for backpackers, and the Stash is the lightest all-in-one backpack installed system that Jetboil, the technology leader in portable outdoor cooking systems, has ever made.” 

Watercraft Recreation Sales Expand 30 Percent
In the Watercraft Recreation segment, sales advanced 30.2 percent to $19.9 million. Operating profits nearly tripled to $3.45 million from $1.18 million. Strong demand was seen across all product categories, including its Sportsman line.

Said Johnson-Leipold, “People continue to be eager to get out on the water, and our industry-leading propulsion technologies offer options for anglers of all abilities and interests. The fishing kayak segment continues to grow, driven by ongoing enthusiasm for the innovative line of Sportsman Kayaks that was launched last year. From the versatile pedal-powered Sportsman Salty Kayak to the award-winning Autopilot 120 motorized fishing kayak, the Sportsman line offers a watercraft for everyone looking to enjoy a great day outdoors.”

Strong demand across all product categories, including the Sportsman line, drove a 30 percent increase in Watercraft Recreation sales.”

Diving Sales Surge 93 Percent
The Diving segment showed the strongest recovery as it faced heavy travel restrictions during the early months of the pandemic. Said Johnson-Leipold, “As pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns are being eased and people are traveling again, we have seen the diving market begin to recover.”

She said the Diving segment was also up versus the third quarter of 2019. Johnson-Leipold added, “Our work to promote and support local diving, simplify our Diving business and enhance our digital presence globally with new European websites and e-commerce has been paying off. As the Diving market recovers, our continued focus on these efforts, along with sustained innovation will ensure ScubaPro’s position as the most trusted dive brand in the world.”

Looking ahead, Johnson-Leipold said that the marketplace and the company continue to manage with lean inventory levels.

“Our inventory levels have been very stressed this whole season just because the demand is high,” said Johnson-Leipold. “So I would say that they are below normal. and we continue to make as much product as possible.”

She stated, “While ongoing supply chain issues and logistics disruptions may affect our ability to fill all increased demand across our segments in the future, our near-term focus is to continue to work hard to manage supply issues and meet demand for a strong finish to the fiscal year.”

Photo courtesy Johnson Outdoors/Humminbird