Gander Mountain Net Income Falls 62%

Fourth-quarter sales slipped 2.8% to $317.6 million for St. Paul, MN-based sporting goods retailer Gander Mountain.

Same-store sales fell nearly 12% and net income sank 62%, to $5.8 million, down from $15.3 million last year. The current period earnings include a loss of $1.2 million, reflecting two months of seasonal operating results at Overton’s, which Gander Mountain acquired in December 2007 for about $70 million.

For the fiscal year, sales for Gander Mountain increased 6.4%, to $969.4 million. Same-store sales declined 5.4%. The company reported a net loss for the 52-week period of $31.8 million, compared with a net loss of $13.2 million last year.

Gander Mountain CEO Mark Baker said in a release that the fourth quarter results reflect “difficult operating conditions, both in the broad economy and in our industry,” but he added that these conditions “have eased slightly in the first quarter.”

“We expect the positive seasonal impact of Overton’s to emerge in the first half of fiscal 2008 as we expand our presence in the direct marketing arena,” Baker said. “We will open five stores during the year, replacing three smaller stores and adding to our southern store count. The combination of cost-saving initiatives, growth in direct marketing and fewer store openings will position Gander Mountain for improved performance in fiscal 2008.”

Gander Mountain sells merchandise related to hunting, fishing, camping and boating. The company on April 22 is opening two new retail stores – including a 91,000 square foot store in Burke, WI, and a 66,000 store in Roanoke, VA.