Columbia Sportswear Company announced net sales of 917.6 million dollars for the fourth quarter, an increase of 18 percent or 19 percent constant-currency. The company said, non-GAAP fourth quarter net sales of 899.3 million dollars increased 16 percent or 17 percent constant-currency. Net income for the quarter increased to 113.3 million dollars or 1.63 dollars per diluted share compared to net loss of 7.1 million dollars or 10 cents per share. Non-GAAP net income increased 27 percent to 116.9 million dollars or 1.68 dollars per diluted share compared with 92.4 million dollars or 1.31 dollars per diluted share.
Commenting on the financial update, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Boyle said in a statement: “We were able to deliver record fourth quarter and full year results that significantly exceeded our outlook, while at the same time making substantial investments in our strategic priorities including demand creation. We continue to project profitable growth for 2019, even though record 2018 financial performance creates challenging comparisons and we face increasing global economic uncertainty and unresolved trade issues.”
Full year 2018 net sales increased 336.2 million dollars or 14 percent or 13 percent constant-currency to 2,802.3 million dollars, while non-GAAP net sales increased 295.2 million dollars or 12 percent or 11 percent constant-currency to 2,761.4 million dollars. Net income for the year increased 155 percent to 268.3 million dollars or 3.81 dollars per diluted share compared to 105.1 million dollars or 1.49 dollars per diluted share, in the prior year, while non-GAAP net income increased 34 percent to 282 million dollars or 4.01 dollars per diluted share compared to 210.1 million dollars or 2.98 dollars per diluted share, in the prior year.
Across geographies, net sales in the United States increased 20 percent, attributable to low-20 percent growth in direct-to-consumer and high-teens percent growth in wholesale during the fourth quarter. The company operated 136 US retail stores at December 31, 2018 compared with 129 at the same time last year. Net sales in the Latin America Asia Pacific (LAAP) increased 16 percent or 18 percent constant-currency driven by the new revenue accounting standard as well as growth across Korea, Japan and China, partially offset by a decline in LAAP distributor net sales. LAAP non-GAAP net sales increased 4 percent or 6 percent constant-currency.
Fourth quarter net sales in Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) increased 12 percent or 14 percent constant-currency, led by mid-teens percent Europe-direct growth and high-single-digit percent EMEA distributor net sales growth. Canada net sales increased 21 percent or 26 percent constant-currency, reflecting strong wholesale and DTC performance.
Among brands, Columbia net sales increased 21 percent or 22 percent constant-currency to 727.8 million dollars, Sorel brand net sales increased 11 percent or 12 percent constant-currency to 126.9 million dollars, Prana brand net sales increased 21 percent to 36.7 million dollars and Mountain Hardwear brand net sales decreased 8 percent or 7 percent decrease constant-currency to 26.1 million dollars. Across product categories, apparel, accessories and equipment net sales increased 19 percent or 20 percent constant-currency) to 688.8 million dollars, while footwear net sales increased 16 percent or 17 percent constant-currency to 228.8 million dollars.
The company added that DTC net sales increased 23 percent or 24 percent constant-currency to 467 million dollars, while wholesale net sales increased 14 percent or 15 percent constant-currency to 450.6 million dollars.
The company currently expects full year 2019 net sales of approximately 2.97 to 3.03 billion dollars, representing 6 to 8 percent net sales growth, compared with full year 2018 net sales of 2.80 billion dollars. Gross margin is expected to improve by approximately 70 basis points (gross margin of approximately 50.2 percent) compared to 49.5 percent in 2018.
The company expects operating income between approximately 369 million dollars and 382 million dollars, resulting in operating margin between approximately 12.4 and 12.6 percent, compared to non-GAAP full year 2018 operating margin of 12.9 percent. The company expects net income between approximately 297 million dollars and 307 million dollars or diluted earnings per share between approximately 4.30 dollars and 4.45 dollars.