Columbia Sportswear Company Reports Record Results for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 1999

PORTLAND, Ore.–Columbia Sportswear Company(R) (Nasdaq:COLM), a global leader in the active outdoor apparel industry, today announced record net sales of $122.3 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 1999, an increase of 10.0% over net sales of $111.2 million for the same period of 1998.

The Company reported net income for the fourth quarter of $9.1 million, a 26.5% increase over net income of $7.2 million for the same period of 1998. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 1999 were $0.35 (diluted), on 25.7 million weighted average shares outstanding for the period, compared to earnings per share of $0.28 (diluted) on 25.6 million weighted average shares outstanding for the fourth quarter of 1998.

Growth in net sales for the period was primarily attributable to continued strength in the Company’s European, Canadian, and Japanese operations, while strong gross margins on outerwear, sportswear, and footwear in the U.S and Europe contributed to earnings strength.

For 1999, the Company reported record net sales of $470.5 million, an increase of 10.1% over net sales of $427.3 million for 1998. The Company reported net income for 1999 of $33.0 million which compares to the Company’s net income of $32.7 million for 1998. The 1999 results include a one-time charge of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per share, associated with the previously announced closing of the Company’s only manufacturing facility during the third quarter. Earnings per share for 1999 were $1.29 (diluted), on 25.6 million weighted average shares outstanding for the period, compared to earnings per share of $1.36 (diluted) on 24.1 million weighted average shares outstanding for 1998. Results for 1998 included a one-time non-operating $2 million deferred income tax benefit ($0.08 per share diluted) which was realized upon Columbia’s conversion to C corporation tax status in conjunction with the Company’s initial public offering.

For 1999, the Company’s domestic, Canadian and international sales increased 1.7%, 30.0%, and 49.2%, respectively, over 1998. Categorically for 1999, the Company’s outerwear, sportswear, and footwear divisional sales increased 0.4%, 25.0%, and 38.8%, respectively over 1998. Strong sell-through of spring sportswear in all major markets in the first and second quarters, and continued strength in the Company’s international operations across all merchandise categories in the third and fourth quarters contributed significantly to sales growth for the year.

Tim Boyle, Columbia’s president and chief executive officer commented, “Despite the less than optimal weather conditions, Columbia was able to achieve respectable sales growth for the fourth quarter of 1999. Strength in our international markets and relatively strong retail sell-through for men’s, women’s and youth outerwear and sportswear during the fourth quarter led to healthy gross margins during the period. Additionally, our carryover outerwear inventory is minimal this year compared to last year, which bodes well for gross margin comparisons in the first half of 2000. The balance sheet is in very good shape and overall we are very pleased with the progress that the business made during the year. Going forward we remain committed to our four pronged growth strategy, which includes increasing the productivity of our customers, an emphasis on growing the business internationally, further developing our sportswear and footwear businesses, and further expanding retail distribution into department stores and specialty footwear retailers.”

Boyle continued, “As is customary, we will announce our Fall 2000 backlog in our first quarter earnings release on April 25th. While it is too soon in the order cycle to draw any definitive conclusions, the overall environment this year is improved compared to last year. There are a number of factors that we believe will positively influencce our ability to grow during 2000, including the continuing acceptance of the brand in international markets, the rapid growth of our sportswear and footwear businesses globally, further penetration into the department store channel, and the lean inventory levels of outerwear throughout the retail channels in the U.S. Taken together these factors currently provide us with an optimistic outlook for the year 2000.”