Columbia Sportswear Company� (Nasdaq: COLM), a global leader in the active outdoor apparel and footwear industries, today announced record net sales of $214.3 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2001, an increase of 32.4% over net sales of $161.9 million for the same period of 2000. The Company reported net income for the fourth quarter of $24.2 million, a 79.3% increase over net income of $13.5 million for the same period of 2000. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2001 were $0.61 (diluted), on 39.9 million weighted average shares, compared to earnings per share of $0.34 (diluted) for the fourth quarter of 2000 on 40.0 million weighted average shares.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2000, the Company's Domestic sales grew by 31.5% to $152.7 million, Canadian sales increased by 60.7% to $24.1 million, and Other International sales increased 21.8% to reach $37.5 million. As a component of Other International, European sales increased by 22.8% for the period to $19.9 million from $16.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2000. Strength in sales for the period resulted from growth in the Company's outerwear and cold weather footwear businesses, which grew by 33.5% and 54.2% respectively during the fourth quarter of 2001 when compared to the same period of 2000. Earnings growth for the period was the result of increased sales volumes and better than previously anticipated gross margins as well as continued improvement in operating efficiencies.
For fiscal year 2001, the Company reported record net sales of $779.6 million, an increase of 26.8% over net sales of $614.8 million for 2000. The Company reported net income for 2001 of $88.8 million, an increase of 51.5% compared to the Company's net income of $58.6 million for 2000. Earnings per share for 2001 were $2.23 (diluted), on 39.8 million weighted average shares outstanding for the period, compared to earnings per share of $1.48 (diluted) on 39.6 million weighted average shares outstanding for 2000. The 2000 results include an approximate $0.07 per share (diluted) benefit due to the utilization of foreign tax credits which were not replicated in 2001.
The increase in net sales for the year is attributable to continued strength in the Company's key merchandise categories as well as strength in each of the Company's key geographic markets. Specifically, compared to 2000, outerwear sales were up 25.1% to $403.3 million, sportswear sales increased 14.7% to $232.9 million, and footwear sales grew 57.8% to $108.7 million for the period. Geographically, compared to 2000, the Company's Domestic sales grew by 25.6% to $551.3 million, Canadian sales increased by 28.8% to $81.3 million, and the Other International sales increased 30.3% to reach $147.1 million. As a component of the Other International classification, the Company's European sales grew by 39.5% to $82.3 million for the full year 2001 when compared to the same period of 2000. When measured in constant dollar terms, the Company's European revenue grew by 43.1% for the full year 2001.
Net income growth for 2001 was due primarily to (1) increased sales volumes (2) gross margin improvement in the U.S., and (3) continued improvements in operating efficiencies at the Company's North American distribution center which contributed to a decrease in Sales, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses as a percentage of sales for 2001 to 26.8% from 29.9% for 2000.
Tim Boyle, Columbia's president and chief executive officer commented, “We are gratified by the Company's performance during the fourth quarter and full year 2001 despite the less than optimal weather conditions in North America through the fall retail season. On balance, and despite a challenging retail environment, the Columbia brand tended to outperform the competition during the period with particularly strong performance in women's and children's outerwear. Moreover, we continue to be encouraged about our international growth opportunities, particularly in Europe, as these businesses posted strong sales results and increased levels of customer penetration during the year.”