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Wolverine posts better-than-expected results

May 14, 2024 United States
Wolverine posts better-than-expected results
Despite a 34% drop in first quarter revenue, the US-based outdoor company, which is undergoing a turnaround plan, said results were better-than-expected. New CFO appointed
“We delivered better-than-expected revenue and earnings in the first quarter, and we are beginning to see proof points emerge as early validation of our strategy and execution – including record gross margin in the quarter, acceleration in our direct-to-consumer business, improving order trends across our wholesale operations, and a healthier balance sheet. We’re executing our turnaround and transformation with pace and continue to make meaningful progress towards realizing the full potential of our brands, platforms, and teams”, commented Chris Hufnagel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wolverine Worldwide.

First Quarter Results

In the first quarter of fiscal 2024, the company’s revenue totalled 394.9 million US dollars, a decrease of 31.1% on a comparable basis to the same period of last year. Ongoing total revenue (which excludes the impact of the businesses sold throughout 2023) declined by 24.5% year-over-year to 390.8 million US dollars.

During this period, the key brands performed as follows: Merrell’s first quarter revenue was 133.0 million US dollars, down 26.2% year-over-year; Saucony’s was 100.1 million US dollars, down by 24.5% year-over-year; Wolverine’s was 41.2 million US dollars, down by 20.3% year-over-year; and Sweaty Betty’s was 45.2 million US dollars, down 4.8% year-over-year.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, Wolverine Worldwide’s gross margin “improved significantly” by 650 basis points to 45.9% from 39.4% in the same quarter of the previous year, “due to lower supply chain costs, lower sales of end-of-life inventory, less promotional e-commerce sales and favourable distribution channel mix”.

The outdoor company reported a diluted loss per share of 0.19 US dollars in the three months to the end of March, on a comparable basis to diluted earnings per share of 0.23 US dollars in the same period of the year 2023.  

Wolverine added that inventory at the end of the quarter totalled 354.3 million US dollars, down by approximately 51.2% as compared to the first quarter of last fiscal year.


Full Year Outlook

For the full year 2024, the company expects revenue from continuing operations to be in the range of 1.68 billion to 1.73 billion US dollars (adjusted for the new Merrell licensing model and the Saucony kids business), representing a decrease in the range of 15.7% to 13.2% over the prior year. 

In addition, full year gross margin should expand by 460 basis points to 44.5% and diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 0.43 to 0.63 US dollars.

New CFO

Wolverine Worldwide has announced the appointment of Taryn Miller as Chief Financial Officer, effective from the 9th of May. She will succeed Michael D. Stornant, who is retiring after nearly 30 years with the company and will remain with the company until early 2025 to ensure a smooth transition.

Miller brings more than 25 years of global business experience, operational acumen, and proven leadership expertise in corporate finance and investor relations to the role. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Corporate and Commercial Finance at Corteva Agriscience, an international pure-play agricultural company; there, she led a broad range of financial functions, including investor relations, treasury and commercial finance.


Image Credits: runnersworld.com


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