Johnson Outdoors, Inc.’s sales jumped 18 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter ended September 30 and profitability improved as supply availability in its core Fishing segment started to improve. Sales in the Watercraft Recreation and Camping segment were down while the Diving segment saw mid-single-digit gains.
Fiscal 2022 sales fell 1 percent compared to the previous record-high fiscal year, while operating profit decreased 40 percent and net income fell 47 percent over the prior fiscal year.
“While fiscal 2022 sales remained relatively flat compared to fiscal 2021, which was one of our strongest fiscal years, the challenging supply chain situation, primarily in our Fishing business, resulted in a significant impact on our profitability. The fiscal fourth quarter showed some easing of supply availability, and we continue to focus on evaluating options to address increased costs and the efficiency of our supply chain. We ended the fiscal year with strong orders, and we continue to replenish customer inventory levels,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and chief executive officer. “While it’s unclear the extent to which economic conditions and inflation may affect consumer buying behavior in the future, we remain focused on sustaining innovation leadership and building value for our consumers for the long term.”
Fiscal 2022 highlights include continued strong orders in all business segments, a debt-free balance sheet, and increased quarterly dividend to shareholders
Fiscal 2022 results include total company revenue falling 1 percent to $743.4 million versus fiscal 2021 revenue of $751.7 million. Key factors in the year-over-year comparison were:
- In Fishing, despite continued demand, revenue declined by 5 percent driven primarily by ongoing supply chain disruptions that slowed the company’s ability to complete and ship finished goods;
- Camping grew 12 percent due to higher sales in both Jetboil and Eureka product categories;
- Watercraft Recreation sales increased 2 percent due to continued demand for its Sportsman line; and
- Diving sales rose 14 percent from the prior fiscal year, as several regions worldwide reopened and tourism returned.
Total company operating profit was $66.3 million in fiscal 2022, which compared unfavorably to operating profit of $111.3 million in the prior fiscal year. As a result of significant increases in materials costs, gross margin was 36.5 percent in fiscal 2022 compared to 44.5 percent in fiscal 2021. Operating expenses decreased $17.8 million versus the prior year due largely to lower variable and deferred compensation expense incurred in fiscal 2022 as compared to the prior fiscal year. Profit before income taxes was $58.9 million versus $112.9 million in the prior year.
Net income for the fiscal year was $44.5 million, or $4.37 per diluted share, a 47 percent decline versus $83.4 million, or $8.21 per diluted share, in the last fiscal year. The effective tax rate was 24.4 percent compared to the previous fiscal year’s rate of 26.2 percent.
Fourth Quarter Results
Total company net sales in the fiscal fourth quarter were $196.4 million, an 18 percent increase from the prior fiscal year’s fourth quarter’s sales, as supply availability in our Fishing business started to improve. Among segments:
- Fishing (Minn Kota fishing motors, batteries and anchors; Cannon downriggers; Humminbird marine electronics) grew sales by 37.7 percent to $152.3 million from $110.6 million;
- Camping (Jetboil outdoor cooking systems; Eureka! camping and hiking equipment) saw a revenue decline of 27.3 percent to $13.6 million from $18.7 million;
- Watercraft Recreation (Old Town canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak; Carlisle paddles) recorded sales of $8.5 million, down 48.5 percent from $16.5 million; and
- Diving (ScubaPro) sales increased 7.4 percent to $22.0 million from $20.5 million.
Operating profit of $13.3 million in the current year’s fourth quarter declined slightly from $13.6 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Gross margin declined 6 points from the prior year’s quarter due primarily to increased material costs and inventory reserves. Operating expenses remained consistent year over year despite higher sales volumes due in large part to lower warranty and bad debt expenses. Additionally, deferred compensation expense declined by $1.2 million due to losses on plan assets, which was entirely offset in Other Expense. Profit before income taxes improved from $10.5 million to $11.8 million in the current fiscal year’s fourth quarter. Net income for the fourth quarter was $9.7 million compared to $6.9 million in the fiscal 2021 fourth quarter.
Other Financial Information
The company reported cash and short-term investments of $129.8 million as of September 30, 2022, a $110.6 million decrease from the prior year, with no debt on its balance sheet. Depreciation and amortization were $14.2 million compared to $13.4 million in fiscal 2021. Capital spending totaled $31.7 million in fiscal 2022 compared with $21.4 million in fiscal 2021. In September 2022, the company’s Board of Directors approved a 3 percent increase in the quarterly cash dividend to shareholders of record as of October 13, 2022, which was payable on October 27, 2022.
“Heading into fiscal 2023, we remain focused on closely monitoring demand and proactively managing higher-than-normal inventory levels. While we have seen improvement in the supply chain for raw materials and purchased components, we do expect some supply chain constraints to periodically occur during fiscal 2023 and for our margins to continue to be impacted by inflationary pricing conditions,” said David W. Johnson, CFO. “Our balance sheet and healthy cash position continue to provide us with the flexibility and resources necessary to invest in strategic opportunities to strengthen the business, while consistently paying dividends to shareholders.”