Academy Sports reports profit on record first quarter sales

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Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc. said on Tuesday that sales for its first quarter ended May 1 surged, even as inventory problems continued and the frenetic pace of online transactions slowed.

The Katy-based sporting goods and clothing retailer, which went public last year, reported net income of $ 178 million ($ 1.84 per diluted share) for the period, compared with a loss of $ 10 million (14 cents) the previous year.

The company said first-quarter net sales hit a record $ 1.58 billion. He said sales were up 46.8% from the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic hit.

E-commerce sales fell 21% as online sales failed to keep pace with the triple-digit growth of the first quarter of 2020 as consumers moved to online orders at the start of the pandemic. Over the past two years, he said, e-commerce sales grew 300% in the first quarter.

CEO Ken Hicks said the company skipped its biggest sale of the year in February because there was no more stock to push. Clearance sale normally helps the Academy get rid of items like hoodies and long-sleeved shirts before the spring season, but inventory was low during the winter as the pandemic removed the chains. supply and increased demand for active clothing.

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“We didn’t have these markdowns, and it helped profitability,” Hicks said in an interview. “We didn’t have as much because of the pandemic and what we sold.”

The Academy continues to face inventory challenges in the areas of hunting, fishing and cycling.

“We could still use more bikes,” Hicks said. “We have enough now to sell; we just don’t have as many as we would historically have, so our presentations may seem a bit light.

Looking ahead, Hicks said the Academy expects back-to-school income to rebound. This shopping season usually begins in July, he said.

Strategic supply chain improvements, evolving supplier partnerships and an increased focus on targeted marketing will also create more opportunities for the Academy, Hicks said.

“When you put it all together,” Hicks said, “we feel really good about our outlook this year and beyond.”

Shares of Academy closed up $ 1.87, 4.95%, at $ 39.65 on Tuesday’s trading.

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