“The 2020 fiscal year was like no other year in our history”
Johnson Outdoors, owner of such paddlecraft brands as Ocean Kayak, Old Town Canoe and Carlisle Paddlers, reported that its overall revenues grew 58 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter as demand from the pandemic drove sales increases across its fishing, camping and watercraft segments.
In its Watercraft segment, revenues jumped 149 percent to $15.7 million from $6.3 million, with annual sales expanding 25 percent.
“The fishing kayak segment is the fastest-growing segment, and our Old Town Sportsman line in power, pedal and pedal fishing kayaks has generated a lot of enthusiasm since its launch earlier this year,” said CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold, touting the Sportsman Autopilot 120, which uses a GPS-enabled Minn Kota trolling motor for hands-free fishing. “The Sportsman Line had a great start in its first year on the market and we hope to continue that momentum going into year two. As more people desire to get out in the water, we saw strong demand across our entire Watercraft Recreation portfolio.”
She added that the division has also benefited from expanded digital and e-commerce capabilities.
Johnson’s Camping segment sales grew 51.1 percent in the fourth quarter to $15.6 million from $10.3 million, while sales in Fishing grew 70.3 percent in the quarter to $113.9. The Diving segment, led by ScubaPro, declined 4.8 percent in the quarter and is off 20 percent in the year due to travel restrictions from the pandemic.
“The 2020 fiscal year was like no other year in our history,” Johnson-Leipold told analysts. “We started the year with a very strong first quarter, but the onset of the pandemic and the initial stay-at-home mandates cut short our momentum and significantly impacted our second and third quarters, which is the heart of our primary selling season. As those mandates eased, we saw demand ramp up and participation grow in fishing, camping and watercraft recreation.”