• Swings to Q4 profit of $0.9m
  • Quarterly sales down 6.5% to $61.7m
  • Optimistic on growth prospects for 2010
We begin 2010 optimistic about our growth prospects

We begin 2010 optimistic about our growth prospects

Apparel and footwear maker Rocky Brands Inc has managed to shrug off lower sales and restructuring charges after cost cutting helped it to a profitable fourth quarter.

The Nelsonville, Ohio based firm, whose brands include Rocky Outdoor Gear, Georgia Boot, Durango and Lehigh, earned $0.9m or $0.16 per  share in the quarter to 31 December, compared with a net loss of $2.2m or $0.41 per share a year ago.

This year's results include restructuring charges of $711,000 from the closure of 15 Lehigh mobile stores and the relocation of its customer service centre from Nashville to Nelsonville.

Quarterly sales were down 6.5% to $61.7m from $66.0m last time, with a rise in military orders helping to offset lower wholesale and retail revenues..

However, higher sales of lower margin military products contributed to a 190 basis point decrease in gross margin to 35.7% of sales.

CEO Mike Brooks said fourth quarter operating results “exceeded expectations and represented a solid ending to the year.”

He added: “We have made meaningful progress restructuring our retail division as well as developing innovative new product lines and brand extensions for our wholesale channels.

“We begin 2010 optimistic about our growth prospects and committed to leveraging our leaner operating platform to drive enhanced profitability.”

For the full year 2009, net income was flat at $1.2m or $0.21 per share, while sales fell 11.6% to $229.5m from $259.5m.