US: Columbia lowers Q4 sales and earnings expectations
Outdoor apparel and footwear business Columbia Sportswear lowered its fourth quarter sales and earnings forecasts, blaming reduced customer traffic and mild weather.
After forecasting sales growth of up to 1.5% in October, Columbia now expects net sales to fall 5% to US$499-503m in the three months to 31 December.
Gross margins are expected to decline 120-130 basis points to 41.2-41.3%, well above previous forecasts of a 50-75 point fall.
Net income, however, is still expected to be slightly up on last year at $37-40m, thanks to a lower than expected income tax rate, but down on the previous estimate of $44m.
Columbia blamed the downgrade on mild winter weather in North America, consumer caution and reduced retail traffic, as well as a more promotional environment.
The company also pointed to lower-than-expected direct sales, higher order cancellations, fewer wholesale reorders and a timing shift in shipments.
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