Marine equipment manufacturer posts record revenues and earnings while warning tariff impacts could reduce 2019 profits

Marine equipment manufacturer Johnson Outdoors reported all-time high revenue and earnings for fiscal year 2018, marking back-to-back fiscal years of record growth.

The company reported net sales of $544.3m for fiscal year 2018, reflecting an 11% increase over net sales of $490.6m for the previous year. Operating profit was reported at a record $63.0m, reflecting a 38% increase over $45.6m reported for FY 2017. As a percent of sales, fiscal 2018 operating expense declined versus fiscal 2017, propelling net income to $40.7m, marking a 16% gain over the $35.2m reported the previous year.

The solid performance was attributed to double-digit revenue growth in the company’s Minn Kota and Humminbird brands, resulting in higher sales volumes and margin improvements.

“Unprecedented growth in our flagship fishing business has driven record results two years in a row on the strength of revolutionary, consumer driven innovation,” said Johnson Outdoors chair and CEO, Helen Johnson-Leipold. “Going forward, our ability to connect with more consumers in new, more meaningful ways will enable us to fully leverage and maximize investments in digital transformation, marketing sophistication and ecommerce to enhance performance in all segments and channels. Much progress has been made in transforming Johnson Outdoors for future success in a changing marketplace.”

The company reported cash and short-term investments of $150.6m as of September 28, 2018, a $40.2m jump above the prior year, with no debt on its balance sheet.

The continued positive results for the Wisconsin, US-based company also came with a caveat for the year ahead. “While we expect revenue to grow, recently enacted tariffs are estimated to have a negative impact of $6.0 - $9.0m on fiscal 2019 operating profit, which includes foreseeable mitigation efforts at this time,” said Johnson CFO David Johnson.