Published in Breaking News

‘Tepid’ retail market hinders Wolverine World Wide in third quarter

BY Tuesday, October 18, 2016 04:09pm

ROCKFORD — An ongoing saga of volatility in the global retail market has continued to drive down performance at Wolverine World Wide Inc.

The Rockford-based footwear and apparel manufacturer generated third quarter revenue of $603.7 million, approximately 11 percent less compared the same quarter in 2015, according to the company.

Despite the double-digit hit to revenue compared to last year, Wolverine (NYSE: WWW) President and CEO Blake Krueger noted the company’s earnings fell in line with guidance it issued the prior quarter.

“Considering the continued tough trading conditions at retail and the tepid consumer environment, I am pleased with our availability to deliver bottom line results at the high end of our expectations entering the quarter,” Krueger said during a conference call with analysts.

At the same time, Wolverine grew its diluted earnings to 49 cents per share, up from the 44 cents per share a year ago.

While the majority of Wolverine’s business units generated less revenue compared to the previous year, its Merrell brand bore the brunt of the struggling retail market.

Merrell, which manufactures outdoor footwear, was down “in the mid-teens” on a quarter-to-quarter basis, owing to a large exposure to the international retail market and softness in the women’s active lifestyle category.

“Despite some recent wins, we acknowledged that Merrell has underachieved its potential over the last few seasons and we have taken actions to re-energize the product pipeline and return the brand to growth,” Krueger said.

The company has restructured its product development cycle, appointed new leads to its women’s performance division and invested in other improvements, according to a statement.

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