Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY) has continued its unprecedented leadership in U.S. retail golf club sales for a record seventh straight year, according to 2003 figures released by Golf Datatech, the company that tracks such sales. The Company announced that for the full year 2003 it continued to lead the woods market in both units sold at 18.0% and revenues earned at 24.0% and topped the irons market with 17.2% of the units sold and 26.1% of revenues.
Callaway Golf’s Odyssey brand completed its seventh straight year atop the putter category with 42.0% of units and 49.4% of overall revenues at retail in the U.S. in 2003. The results were fuelled by the continued strength of the popular Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Putter.
“We believe it is a remarkable achievement to be #1 in the three main product categories of a highly competitive marketplace for seven years in a row,” said Callaway Golf chairman and CEO Ron Drapeau. “It is gratifying to everyone at the company. But this success certainly will not breed any complacency here. We recognize that our competition continues to get smarter. We have an outstanding line-up of woods products in place to add to our margin of leadership in 2004. Our irons line-up also is very strong, with the introduction of the new Big Bertha Irons, and we feel optimistic about continuing to lead the marketplace in that category in ‘04 as well.
“Clearly, the overwhelming leadership position achieved by our Odyssey brand in the putter category will be a challenge to maintain at its record levels, but we feel very good about the ‘04 products in the Odyssey line-up, as well as the new premium putter offerings by Callaway Golf.”
Callaway Golf introduced 11 new products for 2004, and announced a new three-tiered positioning strategy in the woods category aimed at growing its woods market share. At the super premium segment in drivers is the new ERC Fusion Driver, which combines a very strong, ultra-light carbon composite body with a forged titanium cup face and features a three-part internal weighting system that precisely locates the centre of gravity depending on loft. The popular Great Big Bertha II Titanium Driver is in its second year in the premium category, supplemented by the Great Big Bertha II 415, a line extension with a 415 cc head, the largest driver Callaway Golf has ever produced. In both the super premium and premium segments, specialty shafts are available at no extra charge to the consumer. The Big Bertha Titanium Driver, introduced this year in Callaway Golf’s lowest segment, is the first titanium driver introduced by the Company in the steel segment.
A line of fairway woods accompanies each of these drivers. The ERC Fusion Fairway Woods modify fusion technology by combining a stainless steel face, sole and body with a lightweight carbon composite crown. These fairway woods have the highest Moment of Inertia of any Callaway Golf fairway woods, making them the most stable and resistant to twisting on off-centre hits. The Great Big Bertha II Fairway Woods feature ultra-thin titanium clubfaces for more potential distance and an internal weighting system that lowers the centre of gravity to launch shots on a higher trajectory. The Big Bertha Fairway Woods, which replace the popular and best-selling Big Bertha Steelhead III line, have a modified War Bird sole for optimum shots from any lie.
“Overall, there is a good sense of momentum, finishing the year with our market leadership intact in the three primary categories and then bringing the largest line-up of new products to market in our history,” said Patrice Hutin, president and COO. “We experienced a good bounce in market share in December ‘03 with the early introduction of the ERC Fusion Driver and we are well positioned at this point. The early feedback has been positive on our new products as we enter the prime selling season.”
Callaway Golf www.callawaygolf.com