Sales up, net income down for Easton-Bell Sports

RANTOUL — Sales growth in Bell power sports helmets helped propel Easton-Bell Sports to higher third-quarter sales, the Van Nuys, Calif.-based company reported this week.

But net income for the third quarter was down 22 percent from a year earlier, partly the result of higher selling, general and administrative expenses.

Easton-Bell, a longtime major employer in the Rantoul area, has begun site preparation for an 800,000-square-foot assembly and distribution center on Rantoul's west side, with a projected opening in late 2013. It would replace the company's existing facilities in the Rantoul area.

The company has 34 facilities worldwide.

Net income for the third quarter was $3.66 million, down from $4.68 million for the comparable quarter in 2011.

Net sales for the quarter were $213.3 million, up from $212.5 million a year earlier.

Easton-Bell broke down the sales into two segments: Action Sports, which includes accessories for cycling, snow sports and power sports, such as motocross; and Team Sports, which provides equipment for football, baseball, softball, hockey and lacrosse.

Sales for Action Sports totaled $89.4 million in the third quarter, down from $95.8 million a year earlier. The company cited three reasons for the dip:

— Reduced demand for Giro snow helmets and goggles due to a glut in the global market.

— Reduced sales of Giro and Bell specialty cycling helmets.

— The decision to stop selling fitness products.

There were some bright spots though, namely sales growth in Bell power sports helmets and in cycling accessories sold in the mass market.

Sales for Team Sports totaled $123.9 million in the third quarter, up from $116.7 million a year earlier.

Sales benefited from continued market-share gains in Riddell football products and increased sales of Easton hockey sticks, the company said.

But sales of baseball bats and hockey skates were down from the same quarter in 2011.

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