Mizuno Corp. reported revenues grew 4.2 percent in the six months ended Sept. 30, to ¥81.3 billion ($1.3 bn). Sales of footwear, especially running shoes, and apparel remained
strong throughout the first half. Overall sales increased in Japan and
the United States on a currency-neutral basis, amid a difficult market
environment, reflecting a recovery in the golf business and the
contribution of Senoh Corporation, which became a Mizuno Group company
in July 2012.

Operating profit was
¥3.0 billion ($378 mm), down 31.6 percent, ordinary profit was ¥2.6 billion, down 33.4 percent, and net income was ¥1.7 billion ($214 mm), down 23.7 percent.

Two major factors for the decline in operating profits were an increase in selling, general, and administrative expenses attributable to active investments in the year of the Olympics and increased purchasing costs. Marketing expenditures associated with the Olympics were concentrated in the first half. In the second half, the Company plans to increase both sales and profits.

In Europe, sales declined 1.6 percent on a currency-neutral basis in a challenging market environment attributable to a series of financial problems. The golf market shrank, partly due to bad weather.

The Company set up a Mizuno Performance Center in London around the time of the London Olympics to allow visitors to try Mizuno-brand equipment. A total of 9,000 people visited the center. Taking advantage of the London Olympics, the Company sought to expand its market share in indoor sports, including handball and volleyball. In some good news, Wave Precision 13 running shoes won the Editor’s Choice award from Germany’s Runner’s World magazine.

In the Americas, sales rose 7 percent on a currency-neutral basis. Sales of running shoes increased 19 percent. Mizuno running shoes for entry runners, active runners and elite runners all won awards from running magazines. These awards enhanced the brand’s value in the market and helped promote high-priced shoes.

In golf, demand for Custom Fitting continued to increase. Stacy Lewis won the Mizuno Classic (Ise-Shima) for her fourth US LPGA title in 2012. Lewis uses a Mizuno JPX 800 driver, which is also sold in the United States. The Mizuno pro’s excellent performance has boosted the value of the brand.

In Japan, where consumer spending was improving, albeit modestly, sales were up 6.3 percent. Running shoes drove the domestic business. Sales of walking shoes remained strong, backed by the growing health consciousness. The golf business was driven by the strong performance of Custom Fitting. Senoh Corporation, which became a Mizuno Group company in July 2012, contributed to the increase in sales.

Forecast for Fiscal 2012

The full-year forecast remains unchanged. The revenue forecast is 167 billion yen, and the net income forecast is 3.8 billion yen.