Timberland reports weak first quarter

The Timberland Company of Stratham reported Tuesday that its first-quarter profit fell 31 percent due to higher operating expenses and lower revenue.

A weak second-quarter performance also is expected, according to company forecasts.

Net income for the first quarter ended March 31 was $29.2 million, or 45 cents per share. Net income for the same period in 2005 was $42.2 million, or 61 cents per share. Revenue for the first quarter of 2006 declined by 1.2 percent to $349.8 million from $354.2 million in the first quarter of 2005.

Warm weather in the United States, a late Easter holiday and lower outlet sales are credited with the 10.8 percent decline in same-store sales. Footwear revenue fell 4.5 percent to $253.9 million.

Timberland officials project a 20 to 25 percent decrease in 2006 earnings on flat to modest revenue growth, in part because of the effects of anti-dumping duties on European Union footwear imported from China and Vietnam.

Analysts expect 2006 earnings of $2.20 per share on $1.63 billion in revenue. Last year Timberland earned $2.43 per share on $1.57 billion in revenue. – TRACIE STONE

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