Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Reports 8th Consecutive Year of Both Record Revenue and Earnings Per Share



    ROCKFORD, Mich., Feb. 4 /CNW/ -- Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:   WWW)
today reported record sales and earnings per share for the fiscal year ended
January 3, 2009, the Company's eighth consecutive year of both record revenue
and earnings per share.
    The Company achieved record revenue of $1.221 billion for the full fiscal
year, a 1.8% increase over prior-year revenue of $1.199 billion.  Full-year
earnings were $1.90 per fully diluted share, up 11.8% from $1.70 per share for
the same period of 2007.  Revenue totaled $346.1 million in the fourth
quarter, a 3.2% decrease from revenue of $357.4 million in the prior year.
Foreign exchange had a negative impact on revenue growth in the quarter of
3.3%.  Fully diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter were $0.49,
equal to the $0.49 per share reported in the prior year's fourth quarter.
    According to Blake W. Krueger, the Company's CEO and President, "We are
very pleased to report another record year of revenue and earnings per share.
Our team's rigorous execution of our multi-brand, multi-country, and
multi-distribution channel business model enabled us to post solid results
even in these challenging economic times.
    "The Outdoor Group, Heritage Brands Group and the Wolverine Footwear
Group each posted revenue increases in the fiscal year, with the Outdoor Group
and the Heritage Brands Group being the two most significant contributors to
the Company's profit improvement for the full year.  Despite foreign exchange
headwinds attributed to a strengthening U.S. dollar, two of our four major
branded operating groups delivered revenue gains in the fourth quarter, and
two groups also posted profit increases."
    Don Grimes, the Company's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "Fourth
quarter gross margin of 38.5% was flat, with the prior-year and full-year
gross margin improved 40 basis points from the prior year, to 39.8% - strong
performance given the pressure from midyear product and transportation cost
increases.  Operating margin for the full year was essentially flat with the
prior year.
    "Accounts receivable decreased 6.7% at year-end on a reported 3.2%
decrease in fourth quarter revenue, an excellent achievement in an
increasingly difficult collections environment.  After six consecutive
quarters of year-over-year inventory reductions, inventory at year end was up
approximately $31 million, or 18.6%, over the prior year.  This increase was
driven by the strategic decision to make pre-buys of core product in the
fourth quarter prior to 2009 cost increases, higher product costs, and the
timing of spring inventory receipts, which fell into fiscal 2008 due to the
53rd week in the fiscal year.  Much of the incremental inventory represents
carry-over product, with most of the increase in the Merrell brand."
    Mr. Grimes concluded, "Our solid operating results generated $93.5
million of cash from operating activities for the full year. The Company ended
2008 with $89.5 million of cash on hand and interest-bearing debt of $59.5
million, for a net cash position of $30.0 million.  We believe that our strong
balance sheet represents a competitive advantage to the Company as we navigate
through these uncertain times."
    The Company expects more challenging trading conditions and comparisons
in the first half of this year, especially considering the impact of the
stronger U.S. dollar.  As a result, the Company is currently projecting 2009
revenue in the range of $1.160 billion to $1.240 billion on a constant
currency basis, down 5.0% to up 1.6% from the prior year.  The negative impact
of foreign exchange is expected to reduce full-year reported revenue by
approximately $90 million compared to 2008.
    Earnings are expected to be in the range of $1.50 to $1.70 per fully
diluted share, prior to the impact of the Company's previously announced
strategic restructuring plan.  Included in this range is a $0.15 per share
reduction related to a stronger U.S. dollar and $0.12 per share of incremental
pension expense.  Excluding these items, the Company is projecting earnings in
the range of $1.77 to $1.97 per share.
    The strategic restructuring plan is projected to result in pretax charges
during 2009 in the range of $31 million to $36 million, or $0.42 to $0.49 per
share on an aftertax basis, as follows:


    
                                                 Estimated Range
                                                  (in millions)
    

    
    First Quarter 2009                           $14         $16
    Second Quarter 2009                            8           9
    Third Quarter 2009                             3           4
    Fourth Quarter 2009                            6           7
    

    
    Total charges                                $31         $36
    
    Mr. Krueger concluded, "While the Company is taking aggressive action to
deal with the realities of the current economic environment, we also continue
to pursue our longer-term objective of growing our brand portfolio.  Although
relatively small businesses, the recently acquired Cushe and Chaco brands
permit us to leverage our global network of distributors and service
additional consumer groups.  We are excited to add these unique businesses to
our family of powerful brands."
    The Company will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. EST today to discuss
these results and current business trends.  To listen to the call at the
Company's website, go to www.wolverineworldwide.com, click on "Investors" in
the navigation bar, and then click "Webcast" from the top navigation bar of
the "Investors" page.  To listen to the webcast, your computer must have
Windows Media Player, which can be downloaded for free on the Wolverine World
Wide website.  In addition, the conference call can be heard at
www.streetevents.com. A replay of the call will be available at the Company's
website through February 18, 2009.
    With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World
Wide, Inc. is one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active
lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and apparel.  The
Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates(R), Chaco(R),
Cushe(R), Hush Puppies(R), HYTEST(R), Merrell(R), Sebago(R) and Wolverine(R).
The Company also is the exclusive footwear licensee of popular brands
including CAT(R), Harley-Davidson(R) and Patagonia(R). The Company's products
are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in 180 countries and
territories. For additional information, please visit our website,
www.wolverineworldwide.com.
    This press release contains forward-looking statements, including those
relating to the successful integration and development of the Cushe and Chaco
businesses. In addition, words such as "estimates," "expects," "intends,"
"should," "will," variations of such words and similar expressions are
intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not
guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and
assumptions ("Risk Factors") that are difficult to predict with regard to
timing, extent, likelihood and degree of occurrence. Therefore, actual results
and outcomes may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in
such forward-looking statements.  Current uncertainty in global economic
conditions makes it particularly difficult to predict product demand and other
related matters and makes it more likely that the Company's actual results
could differ materially from expectations.  Risk Factors include, among
others:  the Company's ability to successfully integrate and develop the Cushe
and Chaco brands and businesses; changes in duty structures in countries of
import and export including anti-dumping measures in Europe with respect to
leather footwear imported from China and Vietnam and safety footwear imported
from China and India; trade defense actions by countries; changes in consumer
preferences or spending patterns; cancellation of orders for future delivery;
changes in planned customer demand, re-orders or at-once orders; the
availability and pricing of foreign footwear factory capacity; reliance on
foreign sourcing; regulatory or other changes affecting the supply of
materials used in manufacturing; the availability of power, labor and
resources in key foreign sourcing countries, including China; the impact of
competition and pricing; the impact of changes in the value of foreign
currencies, including the Chinese Yuan, and the relative value to the U.S.
Dollar; integration and operation of newly acquired and licensed businesses;
the development of new initiatives; the development of apparel; retail buying
patterns; consolidation in the retail sector; changes in economic and market
conditions; acts and effects of war and terrorism; weather; and additional
factors discussed in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission and exhibits thereto. Other Risk Factors exist, and new
Risk Factors emerge from time to time that may cause actual results to differ
materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Given these
risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-
looking statements as a prediction of actual results.  Furthermore, the
Company undertakes no obligation to update, amend or clarify forward-looking
statements.



    
                            WOLVERINE WORLD WIDE, INC.
    

    
                      CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
                                   (Unaudited)
                         ($000's, except per share data)
    

    
                                4th Quarter Ended        Fiscal Year Ended
                              January 3, December 29,  January 3, December 29,
                                 2009        2007        2009        2007
                              (17 weeks)  (16 weeks)  (53 weeks)  (52 weeks)
    

    
    Revenue                     $346,116    $357,423  $1,220,568  $1,198,972
    Cost of products sold        212,785     219,973     734,547     727,041
      Gross profit               133,331     137,450     486,021     471,931
      Gross margin                  38.5%       38.5%       39.8%       39.4%
    

    
    Selling and administrative
     expenses                    100,991      99,306     345,183     333,151
      Operating profit            32,340      38,144     140,838     138,780
      Operating margin               9.3%       10.7%       11.5%       11.6%
    

    
    Interest (income) expense,
     net                             419         309       1,093        (664)
    Other (income) expense          (838)        449        (839)        873
                                    (419)        758         254         209
      Earnings before income
       taxes                      32,759      37,386     140,584     138,571
    

    
    Income taxes                   8,642      11,790      44,763      45,685
    

    
    Net earnings                 $24,117     $25,596     $95,821     $92,886
    

    
    Diluted earnings per share     $0.49       $0.49       $1.90       $1.70
    



    
                             CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
                                   (Unaudited)
                                     ($000's)
                                                     January 3,   December 29,
                                                        2009          2007
    ASSETS:
      Cash & cash equivalents                          $89,502       $76,087
      Receivables                                      167,949       179,934
      Inventories                                      196,777       165,852
      Other current assets                              19,614        23,768
        Total current assets                           473,842       445,641
      Property, plant & equipment, net                  85,757        85,417
      Other assets                                     105,181       107,320
        Total Assets                                  $664,780      $638,378
    

    
    LIABILITIES & EQUITY:
      Current maturities on long-term debt                  $5       $10,731
      Revolving credit agreement                        59,500             -
      Accounts payable and other accrued liabilities   131,824       118,866
        Total current liabilities                      191,329       129,597
      Other non-current liabilities                     43,529        30,002
      Stockholders' equity                             429,922       478,779
        Total Liabilities & Equity                    $664,780      $638,378

    




For further information:

For further information: Don Grimes, Wolverine World Wide, Inc.,
+1-616-863-4404 Web Site: http://www.wolverineworldwide.com

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WOLVERINE WORLD WIDE, INC.

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