• Q1 net income grows 18.8%
  • Operating margin expands 80 bps
  • Sales increase 13%
CEO Tim Boyle, said 2015 is "off to a strong start"

CEO Tim Boyle, said 2015 is "off to a strong start"

US outdoor apparel and footwear specialist Columbia Sportswear has upped its full-year guidance on the back of "solid" first-quarter results, the strengthening of advance orders in North America and Europe.

Net income in the three months to the end of March totalled US$22.3m, an 18.8% increase on earnings of $22.3m a year earlier. Operating margin expanded 80 basis points to 9.2%.

The company revealed record first-quarter net sales of $479m, an increase of 13% on the prior year, which included a 4 percentage point negative effect from changes in currency exchange rates.

Columbia's prAna brand, which the company acquired in May last year, contributed $37.1m of incremental net sales during the quarter.

CEO Tim Boyle, said: "2015 is off to a strong start, building on the momentum we created in 2014 behind the Columbia, Sorel and prAna brands. We are experiencing exceptional sell-through in North America through the first half of the spring season and our European business has returned to growth."

For the full year, the company has raised it outlook based on what it says are "solid" first-quarter results, the strengthening of autumn advance orders in North America and Europe, and the momentum behind its direct-to-consumer platform.

The company expects to return to double-digit operating margin for the full year, and to record high single-digit sales growth. EPS per diluted share is forecast at $2.15 to $2.25.

FBR&Co analyst Susan Anderson, noted: "We are buyers of Columbia as it continues to drive its EBIT margins higher (potentially 13% to 14% in one to two years) and focuses on brand elevation via marketing that we believe will underpin its transformation to a higher-margin, innovation-driven company."