• Q4 net income surges to $3.0m
  • Sales increased 8.2% to $66.7m
  • Beats internal and external expectations

Higher wholesale sales and lower operating costs have helped apparel and footwear maker Rocky Brands Inc more than triple its fourth quarter earnings.

The company, whose brands include Rocky, Georgia Boot, and Durango, said net income in the three months to 31 December soared to $3.0m or $0.41 per share, up from $0.9m or $0.16 per  share, in the same period a year earlier.

Sales increased 8.2% to $66.7m from $61.7m last time, lifted by a 14.4% rise in wholesale revenues to $52.5m.Retail sales were nearly flat with last year at $12.4m, while military sales fell 45% to $1.8m.

Wholesale sales carry higher gross margins than the military segment, which helped lift quarterly gross margins by 80 basis points to 36.5% of sales.

For the full year, 2010, net income soared to $7.7m or $1.14 per share, from $1.2m or $0.21 per  share, the year before. Net sales increased 10.2% to $252.8m from $229.5m.

“The consumer response to our new product introductions and brand extensions has been positive and is fuelling additional demand across our account base,” said Mike Brooks, chairman and CEO.

“In addition to our sales increase, we reduced our operating expenses 5% in 2010 and more than 17% over the past two years. These recent accomplishments have us well positioned for profitable growth in 2011.”