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October 26, 2023

Escalade Reports Third Quarter 2023 and Year to Date 2023 Results

EVANSVILLE, Ind., Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Escalade, Inc. (NASDAQ: ESCA, or the "Company"), a leading manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods and indoor/outdoor recreational equipment, today announced third quarter and year to date results for 2023.

(As compared to the third quarter 2022)

  • Net sales decreased 2.1% to $73.4 million
  • Gross margin improved 652 basis points, to 24.7%
  • Operating income increased 52.7% to $6.4 million
  • EBITDA totaled $7.9 million, an increase of 35.7%
  • Net income of $4.3 million, or $0.31 per diluted share vs. $3.0 million, or $0.22 per diluted share for 2022
  • Cash provided by operations of $14.8 million vs. cash used of $5.5 million

(As compared to three quarters ended October 1, 2022)

  • Net sales decreased 18.0% to $198.1 million
  • Gross margin declined 70 basis points, to 23.1%
  • Operating income decreased 40.0% to $12.9 million
  • EBITDA totaled $17.1 million, a decrease of 35.9%
  • Net income of $7.0 million, or $0.50 per diluted share vs. $15.3 million, or $1.12 per diluted share for 2022
  • Cash provided by operations of $27.7 million vs. cash used of $5.7 million

For the third quarter ended September 30, 2023, Escalade reported net income of $4.3 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, versus net income of $3.0 million, or $0.22 per diluted share for the third quarter in 2022. Total net sales declined 2.1% on a year-over-year basis in the third quarter, primarily due to softer consumer demand across the majority of the Company's product categories, partially offset by improved demand in our basketball and pickleball product categories and the impact of the change in the Company's reporting calendar which resulted in eight more business days during the third quarter of 2023. Excluding the impact of the change in the Company's reporting calendar, net sales declined 11.6%.

For the three quarters ended September 30, 2023, Escalade reported net income of $7.0 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, versus $15.3 million, or $1.12 per diluted share for the three quarters ended October 1, 2022. Total net sales declined 18.0% on a year-over-year basis in 2023 due to softer consumer demand and the impact of the change in the Company's reporting calendar, which has resulted in seven fewer days in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the first three quarters of 2022. Excluding the impact of the change in the Company's reporting calendar, net sales declined 15.5%.

Escalade reported third quarter gross margin of 24.7%, an increase of 652 basis points versus the prior-year quarter, due to favorable product mix, lower costs associated with supply chain disruption and nonrecurring product recall expenses in the prior year quarter that did not recur in the third quarter of 2023.

The Company generated $14.8 million of cash flow from operations in the third quarter 2023, compared to cash use from operations of $5.5 million for the same quarter in 2022. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA") increased 35.7% to $7.9 million in the third quarter 2023, versus $5.8 million in the prior-year period.

As of September 30, 2023, the Company had total cash and equivalents of $0.9 million, together with $47.5 million of availability on its senior secured revolving credit facility maturing in 2027. At the end of the third quarter 2023, net debt (total debt less cash) was 3.1x trailing twelve-month EBITDA.

Escalade's Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable on January 12, 2024 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on January 5, 2024.

Effective January 1, 2023, Escalade transitioned to a conventional twelve-month reporting calendar. Please see the accompanying table in our footnotes for a comparison of the days in each quarter for 2022 and 2023.


"We delivered strong third quarter results highlighted by significant year-over-year-growth in gross margins, operating income and operating cash flow resulting in substantial debt reduction," stated Walter P. Glazer, Jr., President and CEO of Escalade. "The wholesale inventory destocking cycle that began earlier this year progressed favorably for many of our categories. Order activity also improved within our mass merchant channel, which includes our big box and sporting goods retailers, during the third quarter driven by demand for our basketball and pickleball product categories. We've remained highly focused on reducing fixed overhead expenses, while continuing to reduce inventory levels, consistent with our focus on improved working capital efficiency," stated Glazer.

"During a period of higher interest rates and persistent inflationary headwinds, consumer demand for many of our categories has so far remained resilient," continued Glazer. "These economic headwinds will likely continue for some time and may further erode consumer confidence and have a greater impact on discretionary spending in our categories. We also believe our retail partners will continue to closely manage their inventory levels and be more promotional in this uncertain economic environment," stated Glazer. "Our diverse portfolio of recreational brands has resonated with consumers in this current environment, particularly within our basketball and pickleball assortment," continued Glazer. "The sales improvement we are seeing in these categories results from innovative product introductions, our strong brand support and our continued investment in our direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales platform, which has grown over 50% year-to-date. We continue to invest in both our DTC initiatives and new product development within our brand portfolio."

"Third quarter gross margin improved substantially to the best levels since the second quarter of last year," continued Glazer. "The improvement is the result of favorable product mix, expense reductions, and price discipline. We believe that this gross margin level is sustainable as we continue to identify opportunities for fixed cost reductions amid raw material and freight tailwinds. We also continue to focus on the divestiture of our underutilized facility in Mexico."

"Debt reduction remains our top capital allocation priority at this time," stated Glazer. "Strong free cash generation in the third quarter supported approximately $12 million in debt reduction, bringing net leverage down to 3.1x at the end of the quarter," stated Glazer. "Looking ahead, we remain focused on closely managing our capital expenditures as well as further reducing outstanding borrowings and reinvesting in our market-leading portfolio of high-quality brands."


A conference call will be held Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. ET to review the Company's financial results, discuss recent events and conduct a question-and-answer session.

A webcast of the conference call and accompanying presentation materials will be available in the Investor Relations section of Escalade's website at www.escaladeinc.com. To listen to a live broadcast, go to the site at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time in order to register, download, and install any necessary audio software.

To participate in the live teleconference:

Domestic Live:


International Live:


To listen to a replay of the teleconference, which subsequently will be available through November 9, 2023:

Domestic Replay:


International Replay:


Conference ID:



In addition to disclosing financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), this release contains the non-GAAP financial measure known as "EBITDA." A reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure is contained at the end of this press release. EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that Escalade uses to facilitate comparisons of operating performance across periods. Escalade believes the disclosure of EBITDA provides useful information to investors regarding its financial condition and results of operations. Non-GAAP measures should be viewed as a supplement to and not a substitute for the Company's U.S. GAAP measures of performance and the financial results calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP and reconciliations from these results should be carefully evaluated. Non-GAAP measures have limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation or in lieu of an analysis of the Company's results as reported under U.S. GAAP and should be evaluated only on a supplementary basis.


Founded in 1922, and headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, Escalade designs, manufactures, and sells sporting goods, fitness, and indoor/outdoor recreation equipment. Our mission is to connect family and friends creating lasting memories. Leaders in our respective categories, Escalade's brands include Brunswick Billiards®; STIGA® table tennis; Accudart®; RAVE Sports® water recreation; Victory Tailgate® custom games; Onix® pickleball; Goalrilla™ basketball; Lifeline® fitness; Woodplay® playsets; and Bear® Archery. Escalade's products are available online and at leading retailers nationwide. For more information about Escalade's many brands, history, financials, and governance please visit www.escaladeinc.com.


Patrick Griffin
Vice President - Corporate Development & Investor Relations

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