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Home Titleist and FootJoy buck the first quarter trend in Japan

Not all golf equipment companies were roughed up in Japan during the first quarter. Recently, Callaway Golf reported sales were off 30% in the region largely part due to the tragic earthquake and tsunami that occurred. “We actually had a very strong first quarter in Japan although the industry can expect rounds of play in Japan to suffer over the next few months,” Bruce Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands said. “We believe Japan will be a resilient market and will recover. Over the course of 2011, we see upside in other markets that will offset any impact in Japan,” he added.
Craig Omtvedt, Fortune Brands’ Chief Financial Officer reported, “Geographically, comparable sales for Titleist and FootJoy were up at a mid-teens rate in the U.S. and up high teens internationally in constant currency, reflecting growth in all regions with particularly strong gains in Korea, Japan, the Pacific Basin and Canada.” He added, “While the natural disaster in Japan will have impacts to second quarter results, we expect any near-term impacts in Japan will be offset over the course of the year by upside in other markets. We're continuing to target that comparable operating income in golf will grow at a double-digit rate.”