Net sales for the first quarter dropped 12 percent to $69.1 million, compared to $78.9 million during the same period last year. Net earnings for the first quarter dropped 17 percent to $2.2 million, compared to $2.7 million during the same period the year before. Diluted earnings per share dropped 4 cents, to $0.21, compared to $0.25 last year.
North American wholesale and licensing revenues also saw a double digit drop, down 15 percent to $52.9 million. Nunn Bush reported a wholesale sales decline of 18 percent, Stacy Adams declined 16 percent and Florsheim 8 percent. Weyco’s outdoor brand, Bogs, posted a first quarter net sales decrease of 21 percent. The company attributes the losses to struggling brick and mortar performance and a societal move towards e-commerce.
“The retail environment continues to be challenging, as retailers address reduced foot traffic in their brick-and-mortar stores,” said Thomas Florsheim, Jr., chairman and CEO. “We continue to seek growth across all trade channels and are working to reduce our costs. This quarter we saw higher gross margins and reductions in several categories of selling and administrative costs as a result of our efforts.”
For North America, net sales were $4.9 million, down 3 percent compared to $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2016. The company attributes the lower sales due to a later Easter this year, causing sales to shift to April.
As of May 2, the company’s cash dividend was $0.22 per share, up 5 percent from the previous quarterly dividend of $0.21.