SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — Outdoor supplier Black Diamond Inc., which owns the protective brand POC, is reporting that its first-quarter 2014 sales were up 7 percent, to $54.5 million, while gross margins were up 70 basis points to 38.4 percent.
The good results came despite a poor ski season in some regions; sales of Black Diamond's BD Apparel line and POC's double-digit growth helped balance Black Diamond's traditional strengths in backcountry skiing equipment.
Black Diamond bought Sweden-based POC in 2012. POC sells mountain bike helmets and gear and last year introduced a road cycling line including helmets and clothing.
"Black Diamond's first-quarter results are a reflection of our product variety and seasonal diversity, as well as our global distribution platform," said Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond, in an investor conference call Monday. "Early retail and trade feedback for POC's road bike collection suggests it is well positioned for the core cyclist, and we expect the majority of the line to ship in the second quarter."
Metcalf said POC was pursuing a "scarcity strategy" with its road bike line in its first year, with small shipments of is Octal road helmet and clothing in the first quarter. The majority of POC's road products will ship during the company's second quarter, and he said road product sales would begin to show more meaningful sales in spring 2015.
"POC's expansion into this category is an important part of our growth strategy," Metcalf said.
Black Diamond is traded on Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol BDE. Its stock performance is tracked on BRAIN's stock page.