Sales at Jarden Outdoor Solutions (JOS), which owns major fishing, camping and fall sport brands, grew 3.7 percent in the three months ended March 31.

JOS sales reached $694.9 million in the period. Operating earnings were $56.2 million, or 8.1 percent of net sales, compared to $57.8 million, or 8.6 percent of net sales in the first quarter of 2012.

Both our fishing and camping businesses were able to deliver positive year-over-year sales growth despite facing the tough comparison to last year, said CEO Jim Lillie, referencing 2012 when unusually warm weather lead to robust first quarter sales of warm weather gear. Lillie said a redesigned line of Coleman coolers did particularly well in the quarter.

JOS owns the fishing brands Abu Garcia, Berkley, Shakespeare and Trilene, the camping brands Aero and Coleman, the apparel brands ExOfficio, mountain sport brands K2, Marker and Volkl as well as Rawlings. Cabelas named Jardens Pure Fishing line as 2012 vendor of the year for general outdoors category.

Jarden CEO Jim Lillie said the colder weather in the first quarter this year prompted coaches to postpone ordering baseball gear. While Rawlings expects to recapture $10 million in sales in the second quarter, the 2013 season will be shorter and likely result in fewer sales.

Kids were throwing snowballs, not baseballs in Q1, quipped Lillie.
While the company is expecting snowsports dealers to order conservatively for the upcoming seas, JOS will take a risk on more ski SKUs that can carry over into future seasons. That will enable it to capture an additional $10-$15 million in sales should the snow come hard and early in the fourth quarter.

Jarden reported that all four of its segments grew in the quarter resulting total net sales of $1.58 billion, up 5.3 percent. Nevertheless, the company reported a loss of $4.4 million, compared with a profit of $35.1 million a year earlier due acquisition related accounting charges and a $29.0 million non-cash charge it took on its Venezuelan operations due to the February devaluation of the Bolivar.
Jardens other two major segments include Consumer Solutions, which makes a variety of small kitchen appliances, and Branded Consumables, which owns a variety of household cleaning, security and leisure brands.

Commodity cost increases continue to be relatively benign compared to the last several years, and we believe we can deliver an overall organic top-line sales increase of 3-5 percent for calendar 2013, while also driving year-over-year operating margin expansion, said CEO James Lillie.