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Wolverine Worldwide to Increase Brand-Building Investments in 2015

Wolverine Worldwide is looking at the big picture.

The footwear company announced Monday at the 17th Annual ICR XChange Conference in Orlando, Fla. that it plans to significantly increase brand-building investments in fiscal 2015, including investments in consumer-demand creation, omnichannel initiatives and international expansion, to accelerate global growth and ultimately drive shareholder value.

The investments will come at a cost. With $30 million slated for investments in 2015, Wolverine Worldwide expects mid-single digit revenue growth for FY 2015. In total, the company estimates that incremental investments will total about $100 million over the next three years.

At the conference, Wolverine Worldwide chairman, chief executive officer and president Blake W. Krueger also revealed preliminary, unaudited financial results for the company’s full-year 2014 ended Jan. 3, 2015.

For 2014, the company recorded approximately $2.76 billion in revenue, up 2.6% from the prior year revenue of $2.69 billion. Earnings per share are expected to be consistent with the previous guidance of $1.32 to $1.38.

In light of the expenses, the company said it currently expects its full-year 2015 adjusted diluted earnings per share to be approximately flat compared to 2014.

Krueger said, “I am extremely pleased our Company is expected to deliver another year of record revenue and earnings. The Company remains focused on driving growth across our portfolio, and our expected strong earnings performance and cash flow generation for the year are a testament to our team’s disciplined execution against our global, diversified business model——a robust model that delivers consistent results in virtually any economic environment.”

Senior vice president and chief financial officer Don Grimes said, “We are very pleased with the expected excellent close to the fiscal year——especially the acceleration of some of our key brands in the quarter. Nine of our 16 brands are expected to deliver double-digit revenue growth in the quarter, and Sperry is expected to have finished the year strongly, generating high-single digit revenue growth in the quarter. Additionally, the expected outstanding cash flow performance enabled us to reduce our estimated net debt to below $700 million at year end.”