Olin Corporation reported Winchester sales for the fourth quarter 2017 were $165.4 million compared to $161.4 million in the fourth quarter 2016, representing a gain of 2.5 percent.
The increase in sales was primarily due to higher military sales, partially offset by lower sales to commercial customers reflecting lower demand for pistol, rifle, and shotshell ammunition. Fourth quarter 2017 segment earnings were $11.1 million compared to $25.0 million in the fourth quarter 2016. The decrease in segment earnings was primarily due to a less favorable product mix, lower selling prices and higher commodity and other material costs. Winchester fourth quarter 2017 results included depreciation and amortization expense of $5.3 million compared to $4.7 million in the fourth quarter 2016.
For the year, Winchester sales fell 6.6 percent to $681.2 million from $729.3 million. Commercial ammunition sales in 2017 declined approximately 17 percent compared to 2016. Net income before taxes fell 40.1 percent to $72.4 million from $120.9 million due to lower commercial ammunition demand and a less favorable sales product mix.
In a statement, John E. Fischer, chairman, president and CEO, said Winchester had its weakest year since 2012.
He added, “We anticipate Winchester segment results will improve in 2018 from 2017 reflecting higher levels of the commercial and military demand offset by increased commodity and other material costs.”