Academy Sports + Outdoors maintained its profit momentum in the fourth quarter even as its sales fell amid the “uncertain” economic environment.
The Texas-based retailer remains committed to store expansion, and will open 13 to 15 stores in fiscal 2023.
“Our focus in 2023 will be investing for growth by opening new stores, building a more powerful omnichannel business, strengthening our current store base, and leveraging and scaling our supply chain,” stated chairman, president and CEO Ken Hicks.
The retailer is also updating existing stores, typically with new carpeting and fixtures and new floor concepts, according to a report by WWD. Academy stores average around 70,000 sq. ft.
Academy Sports reported that its net income rose 9% to $157.65 million in the quarter ended Jan. 28, up from $141.77 million in the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share increased to $1.97 per share, from $1.57.
Net sales fell 3.4% to $1.75 billion and comparable sales were down 5.1%. Sales were impacted by 6.4% fewer transactions, partially offset by a 1.3% increase in average ticket size. Net sales increased 27.4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
E-commerce sales grew 1.4% compared to the prior year quarter and 100.0% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
For fiscal 2022, net sales decreased 5.6% to $6.40 billion and comparable sales decreased 6.4%. Sales were impacted by 8.2% fewer transactions, partially offset by a 2.0% increase in average ticket size. When compared to fiscal 2019, net sales increased 32.4%. E-commerce sales increased 9.1% compared to 2021.
“For Academy, 2022 was a year that was both rewarding and challenging,” stated Hicks. “While our business faced pressures from the uncertain macro-economic environment throughout the year, our team effectively executed against our strategic plan, and as a result, we delivered solid earnings, generated and returned a significant amount of free cash flow, and created value for our stakeholders, even though we did not meet our sales expectations.”
As of the end of fiscal 2022 (January 28, 2023), the company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $337.1 million with no borrowings under the $1 billion credit facility.
Academy operates 268 stores across 18 states.