VAN NUYS, CA (BRAIN)—A strong start to the bike season led Easton-Bell Sports to sales growth of 5 percent in the first quarter of the year.
On Thursday, the Company reported net sales of $203.4 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, an increase of 4.8 percent as compared to the $194.1 million from the same time period last year. Operating income was $11.0 million up 8.6 percent.
“We are pleased to report our 5th consecutive quarter of sales growth driven by a strong start to the bike season within Action Sports, including the launch of our new Giro cycling shoes,” said Paul Harrington, president and CEO of Easton-Bell Sports.
Action Sports, a division that includes the Easton, Bell, Blackburn and Giro brands, was up 16.6 percent in the first quarter to $12.4 million. The increase was due to higher sales of cycling helmets and accessories, higher sales of Bell powersports helmets to specialty dealers, growth in Easton branded cycling wheels and components and the introduction of Giro branded cycling shoes.
Team Sports net sales decreased $3.1 million or 2.6 percent. The Company’s gross margin for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was 31.4 percent compared to 33.4 percent for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The margin decline related primarily to escalating fuel costs, shifting sales of higher-margin baseball bats versus a year ago and sales growth in youth football helmets, partially offset by lower inventory write-offs and closeout sales in Action Sports and favorable foreign currency exchange rates.