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CONVERSE FIRST QUARTER SALES DOWN 30%; EARNINGS DROP 75%
Published May 8, 1998
Converse announced that its net sales were down 30% in its first quarter ended April 4, 1998. Sales were $95.2M, compared to $136M for the same period in '97, a drop of 30%. Earnings were $3.1M compared to $12.3M over the same period last year, down 75%. The company reported a net loss of $1.2M or $0.07 per share compared to net earnings of $12.7M or $0.71 per share in 1Q '97. The sales drop was attributed to decreases of 50.3%, 51.5% and 34.3% for basketball, children's and cross training categories, respectively. U.S. sales decreased 40% while international sales dropped 10%. Converse Chair & CEO Glenn Rupp: "We have seen a significant slowdown in the athletic footwear market. We anticipate that the industry will continue to be sluggish throughout 1998. ... We characterize 1998 as a year to 'batten down the hatches,' continue to improve the product offerings and be in a position to respond aggressively when the industry rebounds" (Converse).