ROCKFORD — After a promising first quarter with strong demand and e-commerce growth, global footwear marketer and licensor Wolverine World Wide Inc. is eyeing a “breakthrough” 2021.
The Rockford-based company today announced results for its first quarter that ended April 3 and updated its earnings outlook for the fiscal year.
Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) saw revenue jump 16.3 percent to $510.7 million for the quarter. The company’s investments in e-commerce solutions appeared to have paid off as revenue grew 83.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Company leadership said Wolverine Worldwide is striving to reach $500 million in e-commerce revenue for the year, which would be double what the company generated in 2019.
Wolverine Worldwide also grew its gross margins from 41.4 percent last year to 43.5 percent, and delivered earnings of 45 cents per diluted share compared to 16 cents per diluted share last year.
However, Wolverine Worldwide was not immune to pandemic reverberations that continued to rock supply chains across several industries. The company finished the quarter with an inventory that is down 20.8 percent from the previous year.
“We believe 2021 will be a breakthrough year for the company, and our first quarter performance was an excellent start,” Chairman and CEO Blake Krueger said in a statement.
“Our brands are well positioned in trending, performance-oriented product categories like running, hiking and work; and their momentum remains strong. We anticipate growth to continue to accelerate moving forward,” he added.
Merrell and Saucony were two of the standout brands in a portfolio that features names like Sperry, Hush Puppies, Keds, and Stride Rite.
Merrell, which specializes in hiking and outdoor footwear, grew revenue by 25 percent for the first quarter. Saucony, which produces running shoes, was up 60 percent.
For its full fiscal year 2021, the company expects a $50 million increase in revenue since its February forecast to $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion, which would be a 25-percent to 28-percent increase over last fiscal year.
“The company drove strong financial results for the first quarter, delivering meaningful revenue growth and gross margin expansion in the face of certain supply chain obstacles that have plagued the industry,” said Mike Stornant, senior vice president and CFO.
“Demand for our brands is strong, as evidenced by our better-than-expected e-commerce growth and our robust wholesale order book,” Stornant added. “Core inventory levels continue to increase in (the second quarter) to support the business trends, and we expect to be well positioned to chase upside opportunities later in the year, giving us confidence to raise our outlook for the year.”
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