Counselor Top 40 supplier Ennis (asi/52493) has reported that its sales for the quarter ended May 31 decreased to $138.5 million, a 2.8% year-over-year decline. Print sales slipped 6.8%, dropping to $81.4 million, but apparel sales increased 3.3% to $57 million.
"Overall we are pleased with our results for the quarter," said Keith Walters, chairman and CEO of Ennis, and a member of Counselor's Power 50. "Our apparel results continued to improve on both a sequential and comparative basis, as lower priced cotton, which has been flowing into our finished goods inventory, is starting to impact our operational results."
Quarterly earnings for Ennis increased from $3.9 million, or 2.7% of net sales, to $8.5 million, or 6.1% of net sales. Ennis' consolidated profit margin for the quarter increased from 19.8% a year ago to 25.9%. Print margin was up slightly, but apparel margin jumped sharply by 13% to 20.3%. In an earnings statement, Ennis forecasted its margins will continue to improve as costs decline and sales volume moves higher.
"We would expect our apparel margin to continue to improve as the average carrying value of our finished goods inventory declines and as our operational efficiencies improve as production levels increase," Walters said. "While the overall apparel market continues to be challenged, both from a pricing and volume perspective, we have seen some pricing stability."
Ranked by Counselor as the fifth largest supplier in the industry, Ennis reported $235 million worth of North American ad specialty sales in its most recent fiscal year, a decrease of 24% from the previous year.