• Q1 loss widens to $1.7m from $1.3m
  • Sales up 13% to a record $50.3m
  • Margin improves 30 basis points

Outdoor equipment and apparel business Black Diamond has swung to a loss during its first quarter, despite sales growth and margin expansion.

The company's net loss amounted to US$1.7m during the three months to 31 March, compared to a loss of $1.3m in the same period of the prior year.

Sales grew 13% to a record $50.3m from $44.4m last year, driven by increases across all product categories and geographic regions.

Gross margin improved 30 basis points to 37.8% from 37.5%, due to a favourable mix of higher margin products and higher margin channel mix, and reflects the margin enhancing activities contained in the company's strategic pivot following the sale of Gregory Mountain Products.

"Following a strong finish to 2014, our first quarter was highlighted by another quarter of double-digit sales growth, expanded gross margin and lower operating costs," said CEO Peter Metcalf.

Since revealing it was exploring strategy alternatives for each of its brands in March, Black Diamond said it has received "a number of non-binding indications of interest". The company expects the results of the strategic review process to be known in the third quarter.