Academy Sports activities + Outdoor Posts File Outcomes – WWD

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Academy Sports + Outdoors reported solid fourth quarter and year-end results on both the revenue and earnings sides and saw consumers eager to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors again after months of the pandemic-driven stay-at-home lifestyle .

Executives at the Katy, Texas-based full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation chain said Tuesday they expect another strong year for the company, albeit not quite as robust as 2021.

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, net income increased 54.9 percent to $141.8 million compared to $91.5 million in the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share were $1.57 compared to $0.97 per share.

Pre-tax income increased 55 percent to $188.4 million compared to $121.6 million.

For the full year, net income increased 117.4 percent to $671.4 million compared to $308.8 million a year earlier, making 2021 the most profitable year in company history. Diluted EPS was $7.12 compared to $3.79 per share. Pre-tax profit rose 153.5 percent to $859.5 million, the highest in the company’s history.

Ken Hicks, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement, “2021 was an exceptional year for Academy Sports + Outdoors. The team achieved the highest sales and profits in the company’s history while overcoming the many challenges faced by the company and the retail industry.

“We are proud of what our company has achieved over the past three years, but even more excited about our future growth prospects. With our wide range of great products from the best national and high-quality private labels, excellent customer service, expanded omnichannel capabilities and multiple new store openings in our current and new markets, Academy is well positioned to achieve significant long-term growth in its existing businesses.”

The apparel section of Academy Sports + Outdoors, photographed last year.

Net sales increased 13.2 percent in the fourth quarter to a quarterly record of $1.8 billion. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, net sales increased by 32 percent. Comparable sales increased 13.1 percent, on top of up 16.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales for the retailer. The company operates 259 stores in 16 states and an e-commerce website.

“Strong consumer demand for sports and outdoor products has driven revenue growth, resulting in increases in total transactions and average ticket price,” the company reported.

For the full year 2021, net sales increased 19.1 percent to a record $6.77 billion. Compared to the 2019 financial year, net sales increased by 40.2 percent. Comparable sales increased 18.9 percent compared to 16.1 percent in the prior-year period.

In the fourth quarter, e-commerce sales increased by 22.7 percent compared to the same quarter last year and by 97.2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. For the full year, e-commerce sales increased 6.2 percent compared to 2020 and 153.1 percent compared to 2019.

Citing headwinds, the company now expects 2022 net sales to be between $6.56 billion and $6.77 billion, down 1.6 percent from 2021 but up 38 percent from 2019.

Comparable sales in 2022 are expected to decline between minus 4 percent and minus 1 percent.

Net income is estimated at $590-$640 million, down 8.3 percent from $671 million in 2021.

Pre-tax income is forecast to be between $780 million and $845 million, up from $860 million last year.

“For the second year in a row, Academy delivered record financial results, driven by a dedicated, adaptable team, continued operational improvements and strong consumer demand. Looking ahead, we are focused on building on that success by executing our internal initiatives, managing our spend and using our spare funds to grow the business and increase shareholder value. Our outlook for 2022 reflects the expectation of continued strong financial performance and operational improvements while carefully considering inflation headwinds, supply chain constraints and the prospect of difficult year-on-year comparisons,” said Hicks.