Continuing on the record pace that it had set in the first six months of the year, The Acushnet Company, the biggest golf company in the world, recorded third-quarter sales of $275.2 million, an increase of 16.4 percent on the same period in 2002 and a new high for the quarter. Through the first nine months of the year, revenue reached $929.4 million, an 11 percent increase.
Operating income before charges, a measure that Acushnet-parent Fortune Brands uses to gauge its operating divisions‘ performance, rose 38.6 percent to $35.2 million for the quarter and 15.9 percent to $138.4 million for the nine months.
Fortune Brands‘ chairman and CEO Norm Wesley, speaking in an analysts‘ conference call, said that Acushnet’s results were the company’s “most pleasant surprise. We are extremely pleased as Acushnet significantly outperformed the market.”
Craig Omtvedt, Fortune Brands‘ CFO, added that in August, Titleist and Pinnacle golf balls were the top five selling models at on-course golf shops, while FootJoy and Titleist gloves had combined on- and off-course market share more then nine times as great as the next competitor. He lastly noted that the company expected low double-digit operating income growth for the full year, with Wesley adding that the company sees the golf economy continuing to improve as the economy picks up and travel to golf destinations comes back after the disruptions of the past two years.
Results for Fortune Brands were also strong, with third-quarter sales up 8.2 percent to $1.6 billion and net income up 29.1 percent to $146.1 million. For the first nine months of the year, sales grew 7.3 percent to $4.6 billion, with net income higher by 7.2 percent to $422.3 million.
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