Wolverine Still Rolling
ROCKFORD — Wolverine World Wide Inc. reported record revenue and earnings per share for its fourth quarter and 2006 fiscal year, marking its sixth consecutive year of record results.
Revenue totaled $1.14 billion for 2006, up 7.6 percent over 2005 total revenue. Earnings per share grew to a record $1.47, compared with $1.27 reported in 2005.
For the fourth quarter, Wolverine posted revenue of $341.7 million, a 6.5 percent increase over the prior year’s fourth quarter. Earnings per share for the quarter increased to 42 cents, up from 36 cents for the same period last year.
During 2006 all of Wolverine’s four major branded operating groups contributed to the profit increase and three of the four contributed to the revenue increase, noted President and COO Blake Krueger.
“The Outdoor Group set the pace, led by Merrell Footwear, which posted strong double-digit revenue and earnings improvements,” Krueger said.
Inventory increased 14.2 percent, with the vast majority of the increase in the Outdoor Group to support the growth of the global Merrell Footwear business and the initial launch of Patagonia Footwear, according to CFO Stephen Gulis Jr.
“Our strong operating results generated $108 million of cash from operating activities and our year-end return on assets and return on equity reached record levels,” Gulis added.
The company will begin delivering Patagonia Footwear in time for the spring season, and Merrell Apparel will roll out in the third quarter of 2007, said Chairman and CEO Timothy O’Donovan. He said Wolverine’s 2006 year-end backlog is up more than 10 percent over the prior year-end level. O’Donovan confirmed 2007 estimates of revenue ranging from $1.2 billion to $1.23 billion and earnings per share ranging from $1.56 to $1.62.