Wolverine Q1 sales down, reveals Sperry 'strategic alternatives' plan
Wolverine World Wide announced on Wednesday revenues for the first quarter dipped 2.5% to $599.4 million, coinciding with the news that the footwear firm is weighing up "strategic alternatives" for its Sperry brand, as it homes in on its active brands -- Merrell, Saucony and Sweaty Betty.
The Rockford, Michigan-based company said international business was especially strong during the quarter ending April 1, up 12.6% to $249.7 million. Direct-to-consumer revenue from the ongoing business of $124.9 million was down 7.7% compared to the prior year.
By segment, active group sales rose 11.5% to $385.9 million, with Merrell and Saucony brands lifting 17% and 21%, respectively. The company's lifestyle, and work segments, plunged 21% and 17%, respectively.
“We are pleased with delivering first quarter results in line with guidance which included 15% constant currency revenue growth from our active group," said Brendan Hoffman, president and chief executive officer.
"Earnings results slightly exceeded our expectations and we made progress on reducing inventory. Our first quarter performance and initiatives we have in place position us to reaffirm our full-year outlook despite a challenging environment.”
Wolverine also released a statement regarding its continued "portfolio optimization," revealing it is searching for
"strategic alternatives" for its Sperry brand, which recorded a 13% decline in sales in the first quarter. The announcement comes after the U.S. firm offloaded its Keds brand, as well as its Hush Puppies licensing rights for North America, to Designer Brands, in February this year.
"We need to focus our efforts and investments on our active and work groups, specifically our growth brands - Merrell, Saucony and Sweaty Betty," added Hoffman.
"The recent sale of Keds and pending licensing of Hush Puppies will enable this focus, and these transitions are well underway. We are now exploring strategic alternatives for Sperry while we continue the foundational work needed to position the brand for long-term success."
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