Rocky Brands sales stung by declining wholesale, earnings up

Rocky Brands sales stung by declining wholesale, earnings up

U.S. footwear group Rocky Brands said on Wednesday net sales were $125.6 million, down 14.8%, for the third quarter, on the back on double-digit declines in its wholesale division, partially offset by a rise in its retail segment.

Durango Boot

The Nelsonville, Ohio-based company said wholesale segment sales for the third quarter decreased 17.4% to $99.7 million, while retail segment sales increased 4.7% to $24.5 million compared to $23.4 million for the same period last year. Contract manufacturing segment sales, which include contract military sales and private label programs, were $1.4 million in the third quarter.

​The company’s profit did improve during the three months ending September 30, reporting third quarter net income of $6.8 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, compared to net income of $5.7 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, in the third quarter last year.

“Our quarterly performance saw meaningful improvement on a sequential basis as demand for our product improved, resulting in further reduced channel inventory levels and an acceleration in at-once orders from many of our key wholesale partners,” said Jason Brooks

“Despite the difficult start to 2023, we were confident that our results for the first half of 2023 reflected macroeconomic headwinds and industry dynamics more than the strength and desirability of our brand portfolio. While current market conditions remain challenging, the pace of our sales picked up in the third quarter driven by improved retailer inventory positions and ongoing consumer demand for our durable, innovative and accessibly-priced work, western and outdoor footwear. At the same time, the work we’ve done to enhance our distribution and fulfillment capabilities and reduce operating expenses translated into significantly higher quarterly profitability year-over-year, which along with lower inventories allowed us to pay down debt by nearly 25% over the same time period. Looking ahead, we believe we are well positioned to improve on recent trends in the fourth quarter and begin 2024 with an improved balance sheet and good momentum across our business.”

Rocky Brands is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of footwear and apparel whose brand portfolio includes Rocky, Georgia Boot, Durango, Lehigh, The Original Muck Boot Company, XtraTuf, Servus and Ranger. 

In September, the company revealed the shock exit of its CFO, Sarah O’Connor, had resigned from her position with the company, just seven months into the role.

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