Prince Comes Out of Gate Strong in Q1
Bordentown, NJ — Prince Sports, Inc. is reporting an exciting and successful start to 2007, according to recent first-quarter sales numbers and industry audits. In light of recent sales figures, the company is looking to break $100 million in sales by the end of its fiscal year - the first time in ten years.
“The first quarter of 2007 was extremely positive for Prince, not only compared to our competitors, but also in the Company’s recent history,” said George Napier, CEO of Prince Sports, Inc. “We have come out of the gates strong and are heading in the direction of a banner year with our sights clearly focused on breaking the $100 million sales mark. Without question, our extended team of dedicated retail partners, suppliers, coaches, and athletes, all of whom bleed green and are doing so much to support us, deserve the biggest “thank you” for the company achieving these results.”
Global sales for Prince were up 12 percent in Q1, led by the company’s European region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) which surged forward racking up sales growth of 52 percent versus the same period last year. The U.S was also strong registering 11 percent growth.
The global growth was led by a solid performance in the company’s racquet category, due in large part to the extension of its award-winning line of O3 products. In January, Prince launched its new O3 Speedport racquets - a build on its already successful Original O3 technology which transformed racquet design and performance and has quickly become a “must have” technology for players on tennis courts around the world. In addition, Prince’s footwear division contributed as its new M Series line expanded its distribution base. And a successful introduction of a new Synthetic Gut Multifilament string fueled additional growth and complemented the industry’s #1 selling string.
Prince’s dollar share in performance racquets throughout the Specialty Channel, as reported by SMS/TIA, hit 26.7 percent - the 31st consecutive month in which Prince’s share has been higher than the corresponding month in the prior year. Prince also reported having three of the top four and four of the top eight, best selling racquets on a year-to-date basis - including the #1 best selling racquet in the sport, the O3 White (Maria Sharapova’s racquet of choice), which has held the top spot for 15 consecutive months!
In fact, in only two years since the company has launched the O-tech platform, close to 100 touring pros, the world’s elite players, have made the switch to O3 technology - an incredible number for very particular professional athletes.
In the performance footwear category in the U.S Specialty Channel, Prince recorded a unit market share of 20.4%, holding a strong #2 position in the category. In less than one year since its introduction, M Series has shown an immediate impact on the market. Already, the MV4 and MC4 have skyrocketed up the rankings, capturing two top ten positions and helping Prince secure more top ten best selling footwear positions than any other footwear manufacturer.
According to SMS/TIA, Prince Synthetic Gut with Duraflex remains the industry’s #1 best selling string, ranked by year-to-date unit share, a position it has held for twenty-one straight quarters!
Overall, Prince strings are up one unit point from the previous quarter and now hold nearly one-third of the top ten positions. In addition to the #1 Synthetic Gut with Duraflex, which holds 13.5 percent unit share, Prince Lightning XX and Prince Problend with Duraflex hold the # 4 and #9 positions respectively.
To compliment tennis’ #1 string, Prince recently launched two new Synthetic Gut strings to round out its Syn Gut line of products. The introduction of Synthetic Gut Multifilament and Synthetic Gut Poly Blend provides players Syn Gut options depending on their play style and string preferences. These new strings were released earlier in the quarter with the latter already making its debut on the current SMS/TIA audit.
“The first few months of 2007 have underscored the growing strength of the Prince brand,” said Napier. “With an unmatched commitment to innovation and a dynamic team dedicated to delivering the best products to tennis players, coaches and retailers around the world, we feel as though we remain poised for continued and increased success. We look forward to the next quarter and the remainder of 2007.
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