Wolverine Bounces Back in the Second Quarter

Wolverine World Wide Inc. is set to be charging back from last year’s pandemic slump when Brendan Hoffman takes the reins as chief executive officer. 

The footwear company showed strong second-quarter gains and increased its annual outlook, smoothing the way for Hoffman, who joined Wolverine as president and CEO-designee in September and is moving into the corner office later this year when longtime CEO Blake Krueger becomes executive chairman. 

“With record revenue in the second quarter and demand for our brands continuing to accelerate, we now expect to deliver meaningful growth this year over both 2020 and 2019,” said Krueger. “Merrell and Saucony, our two largest brands, both achieved all-time record quarterly revenue — more than doubling their combined revenue year-over-year and driving combined revenue growth of more than 40 percent versus 2019. Our strategic shift over the last several years together with ongoing category tailwinds has resulted in two-thirds of our revenue positioned in trending performance categories like hiking, running and work. We are bullish about the future, have raised our growth expectations for 2021, and are planning for sustained accelerated growth over the longer-term.”

Wolverine’s net earnings for the quarter tallied $44.7 million, or 53 cents a diluted share, a sharp reversal from pandemic-driven losses of $1.6 million, or 2 cents, a year earlier. Revenues for the three months ended July 3 shot up to $631.9 million from $349.1 million. 

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And Wolverine is looking for the bounce back to continue. 

“The company exceeded 2019 revenue and earnings by double digits in the second quarter, with broad-based contributions across brands and regions,” said Mike Stornant, senior vice president and chief financial officer. “Our owned e-commerce revenue has more than doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to 2019. Our future order book remains at historically high levels, sell-through at retail is strong, and our inventory position continues to improve. These positive trends give us confidence to again raise our outlook for fiscal 2021, which now anticipates $150 million more revenue than we projected at the start of the year and represents midsingle-digit revenue growth versus 2019 at the high end of our range.”

For the full year, the company expects the top line to range from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion. And adjusted earnings per share are now slated to come in at $2.20 to $2.30, instead of the $1.85 to $1.95 the firm previously projected. 

In addition to Merrell and Saucony, the company’s portfolio includes Sperry, Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Keds, Chaco, Bates, Hytest, Stride Rite and licensed businesses.

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