For the most recent quarter, Ennis’ print sales jumped by 7.3% and its apparel sales grew by 3.5%. Overall, the company’s business increased by 6.1% in its fiscal fourth quarter, reaching a total of $140.2 million.
Keith Walters, chairman, CEO and president of Ennis, pointed to increased price competition in the apparel sector, which has put a damper on that segment of the company’s business – something he expects to continue moving forward. “The discounting that has been prevalent in the apparel marketplace for most of this fiscal year is expected to continue into fiscal 2016,” said Walters, in a statement. “As such, the ability to raise prices to offset any cost increases has been, and we believe will continue to remain, difficult. Margins will continue to be compressed below historical levels unless relieved from the cost side. Cotton may be a beacon of hope, as pricing has dropped significantly over the past six months, unless manufacturers are forced to concede these savings due to market pressures. Because of these continuing dynamics, we still expect the current fiscal year for apparel to be extremely challenging.”
Ennis ranks as the fifth-largest supplier on Counselor’s Top 40. The company recently reported to Counselor that it grew its North American promotional products sales by 7.5% in 2014 to reach $257 million.