Wolverine Worldwide sees dip in revenue and earnings
Rockford, Michigan-based footwear manufacturer Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (Wolverine Worldwide) reported decreases in its first-quarter revenues and earnings on Thursday, providing updates on its latest strategic investments and reaffirming its full-year outlook.
For the first quarter ended March 30, 2019, the company announced net revenue of $523.4 million, down 2.0% from $534.1 million in the prior-year period. On a constant currency basis, the decline was 0.9%.
Quarterly net earnings attributable to Wolverine also fell, totaling $40.5 million ($0.43 per diluted share), compared to $46.7 million ($0.48 per diluted share) in Q1 2018.
Despite these slipping figures, Wolverine Worldwide Chairman, President and CEO Blake Krueger was optimistic about the company’s results.
“We are pleased to report first quarter earnings per share which exceeded our expectations,” he said in a release, pointing out that four of the company’s top-five brands, including Merrell and Saucony, had posted higher than expected revenues.
The CEO also highlighted Wolverine Worldwide’s owned e-commerce business as a particular bright spot, having posted revenue growth of 28% year over year. He did, however, admit that the Sperry brand had struggled in the quarter.
“We expect revenue growth to resume in the second quarter and accelerate during the second half of the year as we continue to invest in a variety of initiatives to drive topline growth and attractive earnings leverage,” added Krueger.
With these forecasts in mind, Wolverine Worldwide reaffirmed its full-year 2019 outlook for revenues, which are still expected to be between $2.28 billion and $2.33 billion, representing growth of 3.0% at the mid-point of the range. Annual diluted earnings per share are now expected to be in the range of $2.00 to $2.15.
The company is currently investing heavily in international expansion, having recently embarked on a joint venture with Chinese sportswear retailer Xtep International to develop, market and distribute Merrell and Saucony products in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The footwear manufacturer is also acquiring one of the key distributers of its Saucony brand in Europe, in an effort to drive expansion efforts in the region, and is investing in a number of new Sperry and Merrell outlet locations.
“Our diversified portfolio was an asset during the quarter as several brands experienced attractive revenue growth, which helped to offset the macro headwinds faced in other parts of the business,” explained VP and CFO Mike Stornant. “We remain committed to making key investments to drive revenue growth as part of our Global Growth Agenda.”
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