Print revenues increased to $339.9 million, a year-over-year improvement of 1.6%, while apparel sales were up $3.7 million, or 1.9%, reaching $202.5 million. Consolidated margin jumped to 26.5%, with apparel margin rising to 21.1%, compared to 13.2% a year earlier, due to lower input costs and increased production levels, the company said. Net earnings decreased to $13.2 million, or 2.4% of net sales, for the fiscal year.
“While the market continues to be challenging, we remain optimistic about the upcoming fiscal year on many fronts,” said Keith Walters, CEO of Ennis.
Ennis also reported quarterly results this week, which were much stronger in its print segment. Q4 print sales increased 12.7% on a comparable basis, but apparel revenues fell 3.6% to $42.3 million. “While we continue to make cost-side improvements, the apparel market continues to be extremely challenging, both from a volume and pricing perspective,” Walters said. “Apparel volumes, during the quarter, continued to be softer than expected, especially on the East coast and in the Midwest. We attribute this weakness to the extreme weather conditions experienced across the country this winter.”
With recent acquisitions, including its 2013 deal with Folder Express, likely to bolster Ennis’ print sales going forward, Walters is cautious, but hopeful, about his company’s apparel revenues in 2014 as well. "Our apparel manufacturing facility continues to show improvement and we expect it to increase the contribution to our operating results as production levels continue to increase,” he said. “While the apparel market continues to be challenging, it has recently shown signs of improving, so while there are still many unknowns about the upcoming year, we continue to be optimistic and will remain opportunistic.”
Counselor ranks Ennis as the fifth largest supplier in the industry, after the Texas-based company reported 2012 North American ad specialty sales of $235.3 million.