Under Armour's Q4 Apparel Revenue Jumped 22 Percent

2/2/2016
Business at Under Armour, Inc. is booming, according to the athletic apparel company's financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2015. 

Net revenues increased 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $1.17 billion compared with net revenues of $895 million in the prior year's period.  On a currency neutral basis, net revenues increased 33 percent compared with the prior year's period.  Operating income increased 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $178 million compared with $146 million in the prior year's period.  Net income increased 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $106 million compared with $88 million in the prior year's period and diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $0.48 compared with $0.40 per share in the prior year's period.

Fourth quarter apparel net revenues increased 22 percent to $865 million compared with $708 million in the same period of the prior year, led by growth in training, running, golf and basketball. Fourth quarter footwear net revenues increased 95 percent to $167 million from $86 million in the prior year's period, primarily reflecting the success of the Curry signature basketball line and expanded running offerings.  Fourth quarter accessories net revenues increased 23 percent to $97 million from $79 million in the prior year's period, driven primarily by new introductions across the bags category.  Direct-to-Consumer net revenues, which represented 36 percent of total net revenues for the fourth quarter, grew 25 percent year-over-year.  International net revenues, which represented 12 percent of total net revenues for the fourth quarter, grew 70 percent year-over-year, or 85 percent on a currency neutral basis.

"Our core business remains incredibly strong and our 31 percent net revenue growth in the fourth quarter is clear evidence of the continued expansion in the breadth and depth of our brand. We delivered our 25th consecutive quarter of more than 20 percent net revenues growth in our largest product category of apparel," Kevin Plank, chairman and CEO. "Moreover, we continued to diversify our product offering and geographic reach, driving significant market share gains in key strategic areas like basketball footwear, while better meeting the needs of the global athlete with investments in our global Brand House stores and e-commerce sites helping drive 70 percent growth in international. With our continued investments across people, systems, and digital, we are confident in our ability to build upon this tremendous momentum, reinforcing our belief that we are just getting started in becoming the next great global brand."

Plank added, "In 2016 we celebrate our 20th year in business.  We started by redefining the sports apparel industry through performance fabrics and today we are raising the bar for what athletes expect across all of their health & fitness needs.  Our footwear business, driven by the outstanding success of our signature Curry basketball line, will deliver new iterations of signature product across premium price points and distribution throughout the year. 

"Our momentum in footwear extends across categories, including elevated running styles where we are doubling our offerings priced above $100 including the launch of our first smart shoe, SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE, and SpeedForm Slingshot, made with a 3D knitting process to deliver incredible fit and feel," he continued. "In apparel, we will continue to lead with purposeful innovation through the debut of two new HeatGear® apparel cooling technologies, Microthread and CoolSwitch, while also launching a proprietary ColdGear® insulation story called Reactor."

"In Connected Fitness, we ended 2015 with nearly 160 million unique registered users across our platform that logged nearly 8 billion foods and 2 billion activities during the year. Earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show, we unveiled the new UA Record, the digital dashboard app for your health & fitness, and a suite of new products led by Under Armour HealthBox, the world's first complete Connected Fitness system. 

"Working seamlessly together, these products create the framework for all athletes to measure their health & fitness," said Plank. "Now with a more complete picture of our consumer, we are establishing our data-driven math house that will provide us with real-time information to make better decisions and build even better products.  More importantly, it will provide deeper insights, recommendations, and personalized content to empower consumers to live healthier lives."

Plank concluded, "The Under Armour brand has built tremendous equity over the past 20 years and our financial results are a reflection of that strength.  Quarter after quarter, year after year, we continue to post meaningful growth across our core businesses with significant opportunity to grow as we diversify both our product portfolio and our geographic reach.  From shirts and shoes to your connected life, Under Armour will continue to be a leader in innovation to make all athletes better and redefine expectations for what a sports brand should be."

Gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2015 was 48.0 percent compared with 49.9 percent in the prior year's period, primarily reflecting negative impacts of approximately 90 basis points from sales mix, specifically from strong footwear growth, approximately 80 basis points from the continued strength of the U.S. dollar, and approximately 30 basis points from higher liquidations. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net revenues were 32.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with 33.6 percent in the prior year's period, primarily reflecting the planned timing of marketing expenses and lower incentive compensation expenses.

Full year operating results
For the full year 2015, net revenues increased 28 percent to $3.96 billion compared with $3.08 billion in the prior year and compared with the company's prior outlook of $3.91 billion.  Operating income grew 15 percent to $409 million in 2015 compared with $354 million in the prior year and compared with the company's prior outlook of $408 million. 

Total costs of the company's two Connected Fitness acquisitions completed in the first quarter, comprised of operating losses, one-time transactions costs, and non-cash amortization charges of the intangible assets generated from the acquisitions, were $23 million for 2015.  Diluted earnings per share for 2015 increased 11 percent to $1.05 compared with $0.95 per share in the prior year, inclusive of a $0.10 dilutive impact of the Connected Fitness acquisitions.

Apparel net revenues increased 22 percent to $2.80 billion compared with $2.29 billion in the prior year, led by growth in golf, running and team sports.  Footwear net revenues increased 57 percent to $678 million during 2015 compared to $431 million in 2014, reflecting expanded offerings in running and basketball.  Accessories net revenues increased 26 percent to $347 million during 2015 compared to $275 million in 2014.  Direct-to-Consumer net revenues, which represented 30 percent of total net revenues for 2015, grew 27 percent over the prior year.  International net revenues, which represented 11 percent of total net revenues for 2015, grew 69 percent year-over-year, or 84 percent on a currency neutral basis.

Gross margin for 2015 was 48.1 percent compared with 49.0 percent in 2014, primarily reflecting a negative 70 basis point impact from the continued strength of the U.S. Dollar.  Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net revenues were 37.8 percent for 2015 compared with 37.5 percent for 2014, primarily reflecting broad-based investments to support global growth initiatives.


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