The Timberland Company (NYSE: TBL) today reported results for the quarter ended March 28, 2003. Timberland reported record first quarter revenue of $271.0 million, 20.1 percent higher than the $225.7 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. Constant dollar revenue growth, which excludes the impact of changes in foreign exchange rates, grew 11.8 percent. This strong revenue growth – combined with gross margin improvement, expense leverage and continued benefits from share repurchases — contributed to record first quarter profit performance. Earnings per share grew 47.2 percent to $0.53 per share diluted ($0.54 basic) in the first quarter of 2003 versus $0.36 per share diluted ($0.37 basic) in the first quarter of 2002. Excluding the impact of the $4.9 million after tax gain ($0.13 per share diluted) related to the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards 141 (SFAS 141) in the first quarter of 2002, first quarter 2003 diluted EPS increased 130.4 percent from $0.23 diluted ($0.24 basic) in the first quarter of 2002.
Revenue growth in the first quarter of 2003 was driven by strong sales gains in both U.S. and international markets. Domestic revenue for the first quarter of 2003 was $136.8 million, 9.8 percent higher than the $124.7 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. International revenue for the quarter increased 32.8 percent to $134.2 million, compared with $101.0 million for the prior-year period. On a constant dollar basis, international revenue increased 14.2 percent. International revenue comprised 49.5 percent of total first quarter 2003 revenue, compared with 44.8 percent for the first quarter of 2002.
Worldwide footwear revenue for the first quarter of 2003 was $193.7 million, 19.1 percent higher than the $162.6 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. Worldwide apparel and accessories revenue for the quarter increased 23.5 percent to $73.7 million, compared with $59.7 million for the 2002 first quarter.
Worldwide wholesale revenue for the first quarter of 2003 was $209.8 million, 24.6 percent higher than the $168.4 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. Worldwide consumer direct revenue, which includes Timberland's worldwide retail and U.S. e-commerce businesses, increased 6.8 percent to $61.2 million for the quarter, compared to the $57.3 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. U.S. wholesale revenue for the 2003 first quarter increased 15.2 percent to $104.0 million, compared with the $90.3 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. U.S. consumer direct revenue for the 2003 first quarter decreased 4.5 percent to $32.8 million, compared with $34.4 million for the 2002 first quarter. Domestic comparable store sales for the quarter decreased by 4.3 percent.
Net income for the first quarter of 2003 was $19.3 million, 39.1 percent higher than the $13.9 million reported for the first quarter of 2002. Earnings for the first quarter of 2002 included a $4.9 million after-tax gain ($0.13 per share diluted) related to the Company's adoption of SFAS 141. First quarter 2002 net income, excluding this cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, was $9.0 million. First quarter 2003 net income increased 115.3 percent over first quarter 2002 net income, excluding the SFAS 141 after-tax gain. Timberland's first quarter 2003 ending cash balance increased to $91.7 million from $69.4 million in the first quarter of 2002, after financing operating requirements and share repurchases. Timberland repurchased 777 thousand shares in the first quarter, at a total cost of $29.6 million, and 3.0 million shares over the past twelve months, at a total cost of $110.6 million. Timberland has 2.1 million shares remaining under its current four million share repurchase authorization. The Company may use Rule 10b5-1 plans to facilitate share repurchases.
Jeffrey B. Swartz, Timberland's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, ''We are pleased to have delivered record revenues and earnings in the first quarter, results that demonstrate the strength and diversity of the Timberland portfolio as reflected by strong gains across geographies and product categories. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Timberland brand, we intend to build on this momentum through four areas of strategic focus that will enable us to achieve our long-term aspirations as a Company, including maximizing the potential of the Timberland brand, optimizing our US business portfolio, pursuing growth throughout our international business portfolio and strengthening our overall value chain.''
''Looking forward, we believe that Timberland is on-track to achieving our low double-digit revenue growth objective for the first half of 2003. For the second half of 2003, we continue to believe that mid single-digit revenue growth represents an appropriate target, given current macroeconomic conditions and comparisons to prior-year results. We also remain committed to delivering moderate improvements in operating margins this year while investing to support our long-term objectives for the Timberland franchise.''