LaCrosse Footwear third quarter sales fell 10.1% to $31.0 million, compared to $34.5 million in the third quarter of 2004. Sales last year included $2.8 million from General Services Administration delivery orders for uniform boots and $1.6 million from the discontinued PVC boot line. Excluding these two segments, consolidated net sales grew 3% for the quarter. The company said that the slower-than-anticipated sales growth was caused by increased petroleum prices and a general slowdown in consumer spending.

Sales to the Outdoor market were up 1.1% to $18.9 million compared to $18.7 million in the year-ago period. Management stated that sales to the Outdoor market are based more on discretionary consumer spending; therefore, the challenging economic trends strongly impacted outdoor sales in the third quarter. Sales to the Work market were $12.1 million for the third quarter, a 13.4% decline compared to $15.8 million last year. This was entirely due to discontinued products and GSA orders.

Gross margin was 36.7%, up 160 basis points from 35.1% in the same period of 2004. The improvement reflects LaCrosse’s strategic decision to discontinue lower margin products, primarily the entire PVC line. Third quarter net income was $2.5 million compared to $3.9 million last year, while diluted EPS was 40 cents per common share compared to 64 cents per common share in 2004.

The decline in profitability was due to a $1.4 million income tax charge compared with a $100,000 benefit last year.