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Earnings recap: Outdoor businesses return with a vengeance in Q1

A year after the pandemic decimated their top and bottom lines, publicly traded outdoor companies are posting blowout quarters to begin 2021.


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What a difference a year makes. For the first time since early 2020, outdoor companies are enjoying favorable comps, as their recently reported Q1 earnings show remarkable improvement relative to the year-ago period when Covid began ravaging the outdoor industry.

Most companies saw revenue gains in the double digits. Many posted lofty profits compared to devastating losses in the spring of 2020. And a handful of CEOs cited the pandemic as a key driver for sales growth at their corporations’ outdoor apparel and gear brands.

This is the first of Outside Business Journal’s two-part series looking at Q1 revenue and income from public companies with one or more outdoor brands in their portfolios. The second part will appear in a few weeks once the remainder of corporations in the OBJ Outdoor Index have reported their calendar first-quarter earnings.

For a look at how companies performed in the previous financial period, click here for part one of Q4 2020 summaries, and here for part two.

Adidas AG (OTC: ADDYY): +20%

Adidas upgraded its 2021 outlook after posting sales of €5.3 billion (US$6.4 billion), which marked a 20 percent increase (27 percent in currency-neutral terms) compared to the year-ago quarter. The footwear and apparel giant also notched a profit of €502 million (US$610.4 million), which was nearly 20x its profit of €26 million (US$31.6 million) in Q1 2020. The brand said, “revenue growth was strongest in footwear, with a 31 percent increase and driven by double-digit gains in the training, running, outdoor, and lifestyle categories.” Click here for more details on Adidas’ website.

Camping World Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CWH): +51.6%

RV dealer Camping World posted another blowout quarter and even earned a recent shoutout from Jim Cramer on the CNBC show “Mad Money.” The company reported Q1 sales increased 51.6 percent to $1.6 billion, while a profit of $62.3 million was up from a loss of $8.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Click here for more details on Camping World’s website.

Columbia Sportswear Co. (Nasdaq: COLM): +10.1%

Columbia Sportswear Co. notched $625.6 million in revenue last quarter, up 10.1 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Net income of $55.9 million was far above its meager $0.2 million profit in Q1 2020. Unlike last quarter, when Columbia was the only portfolio asset to post negative sales numbers, that brand’s revenues soared 12 percent year-over-year. SOREL was the other winner in Columbia’s portfolio for Q1 with a 20 percent sales increase. The other brands were all down—Mountain Hardwear sales slipped 4 percent, and Prana revenue sunk 14 percent. But CEO Tim Boyle is bullish on the remainder of the year, saying that “consumer demand is high and retail inventories are lean, resulting in a favorable full-price selling environment.” Click here for more details on Columbia’s website.

Compass Diversified (NYSE: CODI): +38.4%

Compass Diversified’s sales of $461.6 million were up 38.4 percent from last year, while profit of $19 million was nearly 4x its Q1 2020 profit of $3.7 million. CODI’s newest asset, BOA Technology, led the charge with Q1 sales of $36.5 million, up 37.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The company’s CEO, Elias Sabo, said the acquisitions of “two rapidly growing businesses, Marucci and BOA, underscore our success capitalizing on periods of market dislocations and have served to offset typical first-quarter seasonality in our portfolio.” Click here for more details on CODI’s website.

Conzzeta Group (OTC: CNZZF): +26.9%

The Swiss-based parent of Mammut Sports Group AG said sales for the brand—the lone asset in Conzzeta’s now-sold outdoor segment—hit CHF 64.5 million (US$71.6 million) in the quarter, up 26.9 percent on a reported basis and 28.2 percent on a currency-neutral basis. Conzzeta Group announced last month that it has sold Mammut to the London-based private equity firm Telmos Capital. Once the sale has closed and Mammut is no longer included in quarterly reports, OBJ will cease coverage of Conzzeta Group. Click here for more details on Conzzeta’s website.

Emerald Holding Inc. (NYSE: EEX): -87.1%

The parent company of Outdoor Retailer and numerous other trade shows had another quarter in the red, but hope is on the horizon for Emerald and its events. The company’s Q1 revenue sank 87.1 percent to $12.9 million, but Emerald narrowed its loss significantly. The first-quarter loss of $15.3 million was far better than the year-ago $570.1 million hit to its bottom line. More good news for the company: Live events are on the calendar, and Outdoor Retailer recently opened registration for its in-person show, slated for Aug. 10-12 in Denver. Click here for more details on Emerald’s website.

Fenix Outdoor International AG (OTC: FNXTF): -0.9%

The Swiss parent company of Fjallraven, Royal Robbins, Brunton, and Primus reported revenue of €128.1 million (US$142.1 million), down only slightly (-0.9 percent) from the same period in 2020. Fenix Outdoor’s profit more than doubled to €9.6 million (US$10.7 million). The company said the U.S. market is seeing a “recovery supported by strong online sales,” and while Primus is the brand gaining the most from the current strong outdoor trends, Fjallraven is “showing [a sales] increase in its outdoor products such as trousers, jackets, and technical products.” (Be sure to check out Fjallraven’s latest pack.) Click here for more details on Fenix Outdoor’s website.

Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN): +25%

Watch and fitness tracker brand Garmin reported Q1 revenue of $1.1 billion, up 25 percent from the prior-year quarter, led by 46 percent growth in its outdoor segment. Net income spiked 36.5 percent to $220 million. Click here for more details on Garmin’s website.

GoPro (Nasdaq: GPRO): +70.6%

GoPro sales skyrocketed 70.6 percent in Q1 to $204 million, while the company narrowed its loss to $10.2 million from $63.5 million. The company continues to beat the drum of its revamped business model: “This is the new GoPro,” said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro’s founder and CEO. “We’ve evolved from a hardware unit-sales-centric business to a successful direct-to-consumer subscription-centric business with a significant opportunity to grow margin and profitability with continued subscriber growth.” Click here for more details on GoPro’s website.

Helen of Troy (Nasdaq: HELE): +12.1%

The company reported sales for its Housewares segment (which includes insulated bottle brand Hydro Flask) grew 12.1 percent to $162.5 million in the fiscal fourth quarter. Operating income in the segment jumped 16 percent to $16.2 million. The company said Hydro Flask is expected to “benefit further as the post-pandemic landscape takes shape.” Click here for more details on Helen of Troy’s website.

Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT): +26.4%

The parent company of Eureka, Jetboil, Old Town, and Ocean Kayak reported fiscal second-quarter sales increased 26.4 percent to $206.2 million compared to a year ago. Net income rose 36.5 percent to $27.8 million. Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO, said the results “reflect the strong levels of demand fueled by the pandemic and the increased interest in outdoor activities.” Click here for more details on Johnson Outdoors’ website.

Newell Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: NWL): +7%

Newell said its Outdoor & Recreation division, which includes Marmot and Coleman, saw sales improve 7 percent to $336 million and posted a profit of $15 million, up from a loss of $474 million in Q1 2020. On the earnings call, Newell President and CEO Ravi Saligram called out Coleman, saying Jim Pisani and Bill Kirchner are doing a great job turning it around.” And he mentioned that Marmot “has struggled,” but that the brand’s website had a “terrific quarter,” and that the parent company is “seeing a minor uptick on consumption” for the Marmot brand and that improvements should be apparent later this year. Click here for more details on Newell Brands’ website.

Thule Group AB (OTC: THUPY): +45.5%

Thule Group’s revenue increased 45.5 percent to SEK2.5 billion (US$300 million) in the quarter, while profit spiked 85.5 percent to SEK447 million (US$53.7 million). In his quarterly commentary, Magnus Welander, CEO and president, said sales in the company’s Region Americas “rose a full 83 percent in the quarter after currency adjustment.” He also called out the brand’s sport and cargo carriers, adding that “the growth was mainly driven by strong demand for bike products. But other sub-categories also performed well, as North American consumers chose the car as their mode of transport for vacations.” Click here for more details on Thule’s website. Look for a Q&A with Thule North America’s new president, Hilary Hartley, next week in Outside Business Journal.

Vista Outdoor (NYSE: VSTO): +39.9%

Vista Outdoor’s revenue rose 39.9 percent to $596.5 million in the fiscal fourth quarter, while its profit of $67.4 million was up from a loss of $141.2 million a year ago. The company’s outdoor products division, which includes CamelBak, Camp Chef, Bell, Giro, and Bushnell, posted a sales increase of 47 percent to $193 million. Click here for more details on Vista Outdoor’s website.

Part 2 of our outdoor industry Q1 2021 earnings recap will be out in a few weeks and is scheduled to include quarterly reports from the following public companies:

  1. Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY)
  2. Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GOOS)
  3. Canadian Tire Corp. (TSX: CTC)
  4. Clarus Corp. (Nasdaq: CLAR)
  5. Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NYSE: DECK)
  6. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS)
  7. Samsonite International SA (OTC: SMSEY)
  8. Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
  9. VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC)
  10. Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW)
  11. Yeti Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YETI)