Business news :Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. Reports Gross Margin and EBITDA Growth During Second Quarter 2012

VAN NUYS, Calif.--Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. (the “Company”), a leading designer, developer and marketer of branded sports equipment, protective products and related accessories, will discuss its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 on a conference call to be held on Thursday, August 9, 2012, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

Results for the Second Quarter ended June 30, 2012
The Company had net sales of $214.1 million for the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 1.0% as compared to $211.9 million of net sales for the second quarter of 2011, gross margin increased by 150 bps to 35.0% from 33.5%, and Adjusted EBITDA increased by $0.7 million or 2.7% to $25.7 million.
“Notwithstanding the uncertainty in the European markets and its impact on our Action Sports segment sales for the quarter, we were pleased with the sales growth in our Team Sports segment and our fourth consecutive quarter of margin expansion overall,” said Paul Harrington, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Team Sports net sales increased $4.1 million or 3.4% in the second quarter of 2012, as compared to the second quarter of 2011, or 3.9% on a constant currency basis. The increase resulted from continued market share gains with Riddell football helmets and apparel and the recently introduced Easton Mako hockey stick line, partially offset by a decline in sales of Easton baseball bats following the double-digit growth driven by the Power Brigade line in the first quarter as retailers now right-size BBCOR bat inventories.
Action Sports net sales decreased $1.9 million or 2.1% for the second quarter of 2012, as compared to the second quarter of 2011, or 1.6% on a constant currency basis. The decrease resulted from double-digit decreases in sales of Bell and Giro cycling helmets and Giro snow helmets in Europe due to retail skepticism surrounding the economic uncertainty in the region and the weather related softness in the snow market, substantially offset by growth in sales of Giro cycling shoes and Bell powersports helmets in North America and Asia.
The 150 bps of improvement in the Company’s gross margin during the second quarter reflects enhanced focus on product development and go to market strategies. The second quarter also benefitted from the increased sales of higher margin football helmets and hockey sticks, partially offset by lower sales of high margin snow helmets and baseball bats.
The Company’s operating expenses increased $3.3 million or 6.3% and 130 bps as a percentage of net sales during the second quarter from costs incurred to support the sales growth and planned spending on product innovation and brand marketing.
The Company’s Adjusted EBITDA was $25.7 million for the second quarter of 2012, an increase of $0.7 million or 2.7% as compared to the second quarter of 2011. A detailed reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income, which the Company considers to be the most closely comparable GAAP financial measure, is included in the section entitled “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures,” which appears at the end of this press release.

Balance Sheet Items
Net debt totaled $370.4 million (total debt of $398.0 million less cash of $27.6 million) as of June 30, 2012, a decrease of $17.9 million compared to net debt of $388.3 million as of July 2, 2011. The decrease in net debt relates to the generation of positive cash flow and pay down on the revolving credit facility. Working capital as of June 30, 2012 was $277.0 million, as compared to $251.9 million as of July 2, 2011 with the increase primarily related to seasonal working capital requirements, the increase in cash and reduction in the revolving credit facility.
The Company had substantial borrowing capability as of June 30, 2012, with $175.7 million of additional borrowing ability under the revolving credit facility and liquidity of $203.3 million when including the $27.6 million of cash.

Easton-Bell Sports, Inc.
Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. is a leading designer, developer and marketer of branded sports equipment, protective products and related accessories. The Company markets and licenses products under such well-known brands as Easton, Bell, Giro, Riddell and Blackburn. The Company’s products incorporate leading technology and designs and are used by professional athletes and enthusiasts alike. Headquartered in Van Nuys, California, the Company has thirty-four facilities worldwide. More information is available at www.eastonbellsports.com.

“Safe Harbor” Statement under Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This press release may include forward-looking statements that reflect the Company’s current views about future events and financial performance. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the Company expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “estimates,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “forecasts” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events are forward-looking statements.
Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in its forward-looking statements are reasonable, the Company does not know whether its expectations will prove correct. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions that the Company might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties including: (i) the level of competition in the sporting goods industry; (ii) legal and regulatory requirements, including changes in the laws that relate to use of our products and changes in product performance standards maintained by athletic governing bodies; (iii) the success of new products; (iv) whether we can successfully market our products, including use of our products by high profile athletes; (v) the Company’s dependence on and relationships with its major customers; (vi) fluctuations in costs of raw materials; (vii) risks associated with using foreign suppliers including increased transportation costs, potential supply chain disruption and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; (viii) the Company’s labor relations; (ix) departure of key personnel; (x) failure to protect the Company’s intellectual property or guard against infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (xi) product liability claims; (xii) the timing, cost and success of opening or closing manufacturing facilities; (xiii) the Company’s level of indebtedness; (xiv) interest rate risks; (xv) the ability to successfully complete and integrate acquisitions and realize expected synergies; (xvi) an increase in return rates; (xvii) negative publicity about our products or the athletes that use them; (xviii) the seasonal nature of our business; (xix) failure to maintain an effective system of internal controls and (xx) other risks outlined under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
These forward-looking statements are expressed in good faith and the Company believes there is a reasonable basis for them. However, there can be no assurance that the events, results or trends identified in these forward-looking statements will occur or be achieved. Investors should not place undue reliance on any of the Company’s forward-looking statements because they are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this release and, except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which it is made or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances.

Contacts : Easton-Bell Sports, Inc./ Mark Tripp, 818-902-5803

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