20.04.05

20.4.2005: Meldung: The Timberland Comp.: Record First Quarter Revenue and Earnings

Timberland Reports Record First Quarter Revenue and Earnings
Tuesday April 19, 7:00 am ET

STRATHAM, N.H.--April 19, 2005--The Timberland Company (NYSE: TBL - News) today reported record first quarter net income of $42.2 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.22, compared with first quarter 2004 net income of $31.1 million and diluted EPS of $0.87.

* First quarter revenue increased 10.1% to $354.2 million, driven by gains in both U.S. and international markets. U.S. revenues grew 4.0%, reflecting solid growth in footwear and apparel - and gains in both wholesale (+4.9%) and retail channels (+1.4% on a 3.9% comparable store sales gain). International results (+15.3% or +11.0% in constant dollars) were driven by strong constant dollar sales gains in Europe and Asia. Global retail comparable store sales increased 5.4%, reflecting gains in both U.S. and international markets. Overall revenue growth benefited from favorable foreign exchange rate changes - which added $7.4 million (or 2.3%) to first quarter 2005 revenue.
* First quarter results were supported by strong global footwear sales. Global footwear revenues expanded 11.1% to $266.0 million, driven by growth in boots, kids", men"s casual and Timberland PRO? series footwear. Global apparel and accessories revenue grew 6.7% to $84.6 million, reflecting gains in U.S. and international markets.
* Operating profit for the quarter increased 29.7% to $61.9 million. Operating margin increased 260 basis points to 17.5%. Profit gains reflected strong revenue growth, benefits from favorable foreign exchange hedge rate changes and disciplined cost management. For the quarter, foreign exchange rate changes contributed approximately $5.7 million to operating profit.
* EPS for the quarter expanded 40.2% to $1.22, reflecting profit gains and continued benefits from share repurchases. During the quarter, the Company repurchased 619 thousand shares at a total cost of $41.9 million. The Company currently has 1.8 million shares remaining under its existing share repurchase program. This authorization will be increased by 100% on May 2, 2005, which is the distribution date of the Company"s previously announced 2-for-1 stock split.
* Timberland ended the quarter with $203.7 million in cash and no debt outstanding. Timberland"s strong earnings growth and disciplined approach to asset management supported an increase in return on capital from 32.1% to 33.2%.
* Timberland"s inventory at the end of the first quarter of 2005 was $161.0 million, 12.7% higher than at the end of the 2004 first quarter, or 4.5% on a comparable basis. As previously disclosed, first quarter 2005 reflected the Company"s initial period of conversion to new sourcing arrangements with independent suppliers, resulting in an earlier transfer of title for certain third party shipments. The Company estimates that first quarter 2004 inventory and accounts payable balances would have increased by approximately $11.2 million if similar arrangements had been in place last year.
* The Company continues to target low to mid single-digit revenue growth and double-digit EPS gains for the full year. It anticipates flat to modest sales and gross profit gains in the second quarter, impacted by an earlier timing of Spring order flow and anticipated pressure on U.S. results, reflecting mix shifts towards more seasonal product. During this period, the Company is planning for high single-digit operating expense growth in support of global business development, including investments against Spring sales initiatives. While these investments will push second quarter earnings below the prior-year level, they reflect the Company"s commitment to expanding its global presence and developing the Timberland brand as a year-round resource. For the 2005 second half, the Company is targeting low to mid single-digit revenue growth and double-digit EPS gains.

Jeffrey B. Swartz, Timberland"s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Timberland delivered record revenue and profit results in the first quarter, reflecting continued progress in developing the Timberland brand portfolio, through an enhanced focus on consumer segmentation and a stepped-up investment against our unique, integrated approach to brand building. The continued expansion of our global business reflects our strategies to develop our brand against discrete consumer segments with increased precision and improved execution."

"We are pleased with our start to the year and our first quarter performance, putting us on track towards achieving our full year financial objectives. We will continue to leverage strategies focused on delivering innovative and purposeful products, expanding Timberland"s global presence and executing with distinction to capture the full potential we see for the Timberland brand."

Note that comments made by Mr. Swartz are Timberland"s performance targets, based on current expectations. These comments are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially.

As previously announced, Timberland will be hosting a conference call to discuss first quarter results today at 8:25 AM Eastern Time. Interested parties may listen to this call through the investor relations section of the Company"s website, www.timberland.com, or by calling (617) 614-2705 and providing access code number 87621590. Replays of this conference call will be available through the investor relations section of the Company"s website.

Timberland (NYSE: TBL - News) is a global leader in the design, engineering and marketing of premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories for consumers who value the outdoors and their time in it. Timberland products offer quality workmanship and detailing and are built to withstand the elements of nature. The Company"s products can be found in leading department and specialty stores as well as Timberland? retail stores throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa and the Middle East. More information about Timberland is available in the Company"s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Various factors could cause the results of The Timberland Company to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to the Company"s ability to: (i) successfully market and sell its products in a highly competitive industry and in view of changing consumer trends, consumer acceptance of products and other factors affecting retail market conditions; (ii) procure a majority of its products from independent manufacturers; (iii) manage its foreign exchange rate risks; and (iv) other factors, including those detailed from time to time in The Timberland Company"s filings made with the SEC. The Timberland Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

This press release also includes a discussion of constant dollar revenue growth, a non-GAAP measure. As required by SEC rules, we have provided a reconciliation of this measure on an attached table that follows our financial statements. Additional required information is located in the Form 8-K furnished to the SEC on April 19, 2005.

Contact:

The Timberland Company
Susan Ostrow, 603-773-1212
Director, Investor Relations


Source: The Timberland Company
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