As we reflect on the past year, we saw the purchase habits of the sporting goods consumer continue to transition from traditional brick and mortar to online retail. We have been watching this trend and making investments in our operational infrastructure, improved online marketing content, advertising and promotion, and increased sales support to meet the consumers’ requirements where they are choosing to shop and make purchases. Despite retail dynamics that caused the demise of additional retailers, Escalade Sports maintained momentum in the market and finished the year strong.
Net income for the full year 2017 was $14.1 million, or $0.98 diluted earnings per share compared to a full year net income of $11.5 million, or $0.80 diluted earnings per share in 2016. A favorable tax benefit of $3.0 million was realized because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law during the year.
Our long-term strategy of growing the business through innovation and acquisition remains in-tact and, with an understanding of the needs and requirements of our consumers, we will continue to boldly invest in the categories and channels where there is opportunity. Having all divisions of our company on a single ERP system, which we accomplished this past year, will allow us to continue to be aggressive in executing and integrating acquisitions that make sense for our business.
In closing, 2017 was a good year in a market that remains in a dynamic transformation. I am very proud of our team and their ability to anticipate and meet the challenges of the rapidly changing market by developing the best-in-class products for our consumers, providing excellent support to our retail partners, and driving value for shareholders
President & CEO