REPORT Wolverine Worldwide, for its first quarter ended March 28, 2015 said that its consolidated revenue increased to 631.4 million dollars, representing growth of 0.6 percent against prior year revenue of 627.6 million dollars. Mid-single-digit growth from the Heritage Group and low single-digit growth from the Lifestyle Group were partially offset by a low single-digit revenue decline from the Performance Group. On a constant currency basis, revenue grew 3.4 percent.
“Our first-quarter results reflect the continued strength of our brand portfolio and a global business model that is built on 15 brands, targeting multiple consumer groups, distribution channels and geographies,” said Blake W. Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide's Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President.
Retail store closures associated with the company's realignment plan and the exit of the Patagonia Footwear license had a negative 170 basis point impact on reported revenue growth. Gross margin was 41.4 percent, an increase of 60 basis points versus the prior year's reported and adjusted gross margin. The gross margin expansion was driven primarily by price increases and lower close out sales, partially offset by product cost increases.
Adjusted operating margin decreased 60 basis points to 9.9 percent due to increased brand investment and higher pension expense. Reported operating margin was flat compared to the prior year at 10.1 percent. Adjusted diluted earnings per share decreased 2.6 percent to 0.37 dollars, compared to an adjusted 0.38 dollars per share in the prior year. On a constant currency basis, adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 2.6 percent to 0.39 dollars. Reported diluted earnings per share were 0.39 dollars, compared to 0.36 dollars per share in the prior year. ,/p>
On a reported basis, low single-digit growth in the US and Latin America, and very strong double-digit growth in Asia Pacific contributed to the revenue gain in the quarter. On a constant currency basis, the company delivered revenue growth in almost all of its major geographic regions.
Based on first-quarter results and expectations for the balance of the year, the company is reaffirming its full-year revenue and adjusted earnings per share guidance. It expects consolidated reported revenue in the range of 2.82 billion dollars to 2.87 billion dollars, representing growth in the range of approximately 2 percent to 4 percent versus the prior year. Constant currency revenue growth is expected in the range of approximately 5 percent to 7 percent. Adjusted diluted earnings per share, are expected to be in the range of 1.53 dollars to 1.60 dollars and constant currency adjusted diluted earnings per share, in the range of 1.71 dollars to 1.78 dollars.