Rudy Project New Limited Edition Wing57 Helmet Colors - The Perfect Match for Any Team, Bike or Kit.

Denver, CO- Rudy Project, the #1 most worn aero helmet brand at the IRONMAN® World Championships Presented by GoPro™ for the last four consecutive years, is proud to reveal the Wing57 Limited Edition Color Collection: Six new electrifying and beautiful colors which perfectly compliment Rudy Project’s fastest and most aerodynamic helmet.

“The Wing57’s insane aero performance has now been paired with drop dead gorgeous looks,” said Paul Craig, President and Co-founder of Rudy Project North America. “This helmet has been absolutely flying off the shelf, so we thought we’d give a little more variety to the line. Photos simply don’t do these new colors justice though, you have to see them in person. It’s like we took the color saturation adjustment and turned it up to the max. Their vibrancy is crazy.”

From deep blue to fierce red and black, the new Wing57 limited edition colors will not only turn heads as you fly by, but are sure to make your own head travel faster through the air. With multiple advanced technologies including a fully integrated and removable optical shield, a dorsal ridge to change lateral wind force into forward momentum, and the Vortex Killer System which straightens tail air flow and significantly reduces drag, the Wing57 has been decorated with a multitude of awards from the cycling and triathlon communities.


The new Wing57 colors are available at www.e-rudy.com or from any authorized dealer

Evonik Invests in 3D Printed Insoles Startup Wiivv Wearables

Shamil Hargovan and Louis-Victor Jadavji, Founder of Wiivv
Wiivv Wearable Inc., a Vancouver, BC company that has developed software to mass-produce custom insoles on 3-D printers, has raised venture capital from Evonik Industries, a €12.9 billion-a-year specialty chemicals company based in Germany.

Evonik's minority investment was made jointly with Formation 8, a financial investor headquartered in Silicon Valley, and Real Ventures, Canada's largest and most active seed investor. The parties have agreed not to disclose the amount invested. Starting in fall 2015, Wiivv will use 3-D printing to produce biomechanically optimized insoles adapted to the specific needs of the individual customer.

Wiivv is trying to wedge itself into the under-developed market between cheap drugstore insoles and podiatrist-designed pairs, which can cost upwards of $500.  “We’re trying to bring that level of access, where you’re not needing to go to a practitioner of any sort,”said Louis-Victor Javadji, the Vancouver-based co-founder of the company.

Wiivv is among the first companies to apply 3-D printing in individualized mass production; the technique has so far been used primarily for production of prototypes and in small production runs. Downstream, the start-up plans to integrate electronic sensors into the insoles that allow dynamic data to be continuously recorded. This will enable optimization of movement sequences, such as in professional sport, and produce movement profiles that, for example, measure and predict the degree of fatigue of industrial workers. The global market volume for insoles is estimated at about €4 billion. In the US it is currently growing at between four and five percent per year.

For production, Wiivv uses polyamide 12 from Evonik in the SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3-D printing process. Evonik is a leading global producer of polyamide 12 for 3-D printing. "Wiivv’s business is an ideal match for Evonik," said Dr. Bernhard Mohr, head of Venture Capital at Evonik. "Through our investment in Wiivv, we’re supporting the market launch of one of the first individualized mass-produced articles to be manufactured by 3-D printing. This also gives Evonik access to the highly innovative growth market for wearables, which are electronics worn on the body."

Shamil Hargovan, one of the founders of Wiivv, said about the transaction, "We're delighted to have gained in Evonik a strategic investor with extensive technical and materials science expertise in 3-D printing with polyamide 12."

Large production runs in 3-D printing are made possible by special software that Wiivv has developed in collaboration with biomechanics researchers. Using photographs, this software translates the individual properties of a foot into the three-dimensional form of biomechanically optimized insoles and transforms this into printing data that the 3-D printer can immediately process. Wiivv currently manufactures products at its production facility and state-of-the art R&D lab in San Diego, CA.

The innovation from Wiivv reduces design and development time of printable 3D models from several hours to seconds. Just three photos taken by the customer on their mobile phone and sent to Wiivv suffice to calculate the printing data. A further advantage is that for fabrication of individual consumer products, the start-up can use an automated 3-D printing process instead of the conventional, extremely labor-intensive, manual method.

Evonik plans to invest a total of €100 million in highly promising start-ups with break-through technologies and leading specialist venture capital funds as part of its venture capital activities. These investments will focus on Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Evonik currently has holdings in five startups and three funds.

Evonik focuses on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. The company is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.


Crocs Shoes launches interactive summer ad campaign in bid to rescue popularity

Crocs Shoes has partnered with Twitter to launch a new interactive advertising campaign which allows users to generate their own ads.

The footwear company worked with advertising agency McKinney to shoot 135 videos which they will showcase on Twitter’s promoted trends at a cost of $20,000 per-day. The Twitter ad campaign will allow Crocs Shoes to display their ads on the top of the trending topics list on Twitter with copy incorporating the #FindYourFun hashtag.

The company has employeed a number of different advertising options to combat its falling popularity.
The variety of videos include 45 different combinations of Crocs and clothing which users generate through a microblogging platform called Funway Runway.

Source newslocker.com by

Hydro Flask Named Fifth Fastest-Growing Private Company in Oregon By Portland Business Journal

Bend, OR — Jun 23, 2015. Hydro Flask—the award-winning leader in high-performance, insulated stainless steel flasks—has joined the Portland Business Journal’s elite group of Fastest-Growing Private 100 Companies in Oregon. The Bend, Oregon-based company was listed as the fifth fastest growing company in the state experiencing 542% growth in revenue and over 100% growth in employees within the last three years.

This latest recognition follows the early June announcement of Hydro Flask CEO Scott Allan as an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 Award winner in the Pacific Northwest Region. In 2014, the company was named to the Inc. 500 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America and one of Outside magazine’s Best Places to Work.

“This award speaks to the hard work and enthusiasm of our extremely talented team,” said Hydro Flask CEO Scott Allan. “Our continued growth is a testament to our people and our mission to create the best insulated products on the market.”

Since launching in 2009, Hydro Flask has quickly become the fastest growing hydration company in the American market. With its dedication to insulated products and uniquely refreshing experiences for consumers, Hydro Flask has grown into the number one insulated and number three overall hydration brand.

Hydro Flask’s hydration, coffee, beer and food products feature TempShield™ insulation to lock in temperature, pro-grade 18/8 stainless steel to ensure pure tasting beverages, and proprietary powder coat for easy, sweat-free grip and extra durability. Hydro Flask stands behind its commitment to quality with a lifetime warranty and is dedicated to social responsibility with a charitable arm called 5% Back.

About Hydro Flask 

Hydro Flask is the award-winning global leader in high-performance, insulated stainless steel flasks. Founded in 2009 in beautiful Bend, Oregon, the company’s mission is to save the world from lukewarm. Using the highest quality 18/8 stainless steel, Hydro Flask food and beverage flasks are stylish, BPA‐free, recyclable, and backed by a lifetime warranty.

Hydro Flask strongly believes that great flasks and great causes go hand-in-hand. Through its charitable arm 5% Back, consumers can allocate a portion of the net profit of their purchase to a charity they choose. Learn more about Hydro Flask’s charitable giving
at https://www.hydroflask.com/5‐back.

Source Caroline Kelm through press release ©

Caroline Kelm – Groundswell PR
caroline@groundswellpr.com – 843.822.8893

Now Available: Hurley Phantom JJF Elite

As part of its commitment to innovation and empowering the new generation of surfers, Hurley, in partnership with Nike, announced today that they have officially launched the new Phantom JJF Elite boardshort.

“John John Florence’s style has a massive impact on our design,” said Hurley Creative Director, Ryan Hurley. “Collaboration with incredible athletes like John, as well as our friends at Nike, has allowed us to continue to come up with new product solutions for the water. Our team stays open-minded with a relentless focus on innovating for the modern surf athlete.”

Hurley Athlete John John Florence challenged Hurley to design a boardshort that could withstand the harshest conditions, without compromise to comfort and flexibility.

The Phantom JJF Elite is the latest product designed with Nike’s fuse technology method; a Nike footwear innovation provides Hurley with the ability to create a more dynamic and lightweight waistband that moves fluidly with the body.

Inspired by Nike’s footwear solutions and informed by Florence, the Phantom JJF Elite is Hurley’s most technically advanced performance boardshort on the market. Featuring Hurley’s new Dynamic Livewire waistband, the Phantom JJF Elite is built for the highest level of surf.  A double layer of 60 percent stretch Phantom fabric enables movement in the waistband, while an exclusive construction technique was developed to stabilize the multi-directional fabric.
“We are truly a stronger brand if we maximize all of the talent in the NIKE, Inc. portfolio." — Aaron Cooper, Senior Designer in Innovation for Nike.
Through Hurley’s partnership with Nike, the brand is able to tap into Nike’s innovations for sports like running and apply it to water activity, creating ingenious products for surfers and designed to make in-water performance lighter, faster and more flexible; transcending the sport and the athlete.

“We are truly a stronger brand if we maximize all of the talent in the NIKE, Inc. portfolio," says Aaron Cooper, Senior Designer in Innovation for Nike. “This includes our athletes. Hurley surfers have pushed us to be better designers, as they need zero distraction in their performance products. What we've learned when working with them has helped us solve problems for athletes out of the water as well.”

The Phantom JJF Elite boardshorts are available now at www.nike.com/Hurley.

About Hurley 

Founded in 1999 with roots in Huntington Beach, Hurley is a surf lifestyle brand which designs, markets and distributes industry-leading apparel, footwear and accessories. Fueled by innovation, inclusion and empowerment of youth, Hurley is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nike Inc. with headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA and offices in Tokyo, Sydney, Barcelona and Bali.

About NIKE, Inc. 

NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned NIKE, Inc. subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories, and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories.

Source Nike ©

Powertraveller Ltd Tackles Google's Search Algorithm Changes With New Mobile Site

Powertraveller Ltd, award-winning UK manufacturer of portable power chargers, is pleased to unveil a brand-new mobile website – bringing it in line with Google’s recent search updates and making mobile purchasing simpler for customers.

Designed purely for e-commerce, the mobile website features an easy navigation system with minimum clicks to purchase and a clean, informative structure.

Marketing Manager, Vicki Parlour said, “With Google updating their search algorithms to favour mobile-friendly sites, it was imperative that Powertraveller made the necessary changes to enable customers using mobile devices to have an easy, straightforward experience whilst searching for product information and purchasing from the site.”

Customers can search and purchase all the products in the portable power range, including accessories and tips, plus find details of their nearest stockists.

With the number of mobile purchases continuing to rise and the amount of mobile devices per person expected to reach 4.3 by 2020 (according to Strategy Analytics), Powertraveller’s products provide real power to customers on the move and now the mobile site truly reflects the brand’s “off-grid” vision.

Visit the site via your smartphone now: www.powertraveller.com

Press Contact: Vicki Parlour
Vicki@powertraveller.com / +44 (0)1420 542980

EDC announces $1.5 million financing to Vancouver heart rate monitor maker Mio Global

VANCOUVER, June 23, 2015 - Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced a $1.5 million loan to Vancouver's Mio Global, makers of wearable technology for fitness, which will allow the company to fund much-needed inventory for shipments around the world and help double their revenues.

"This loan is an absolute game-changer for us," said Antonio Arciniega, Mio Global's chief financial officer and vice-president of operations. "It's very hard to get credit for a company that is growing as fast as ours. Traditional credit is tough and rarely available."

"Mio Global has an impressive product that required significant research and development to commercialize," said Bruce Dunlop, EDC vice-president of Commercial Markets and Small Business. "This is a Canadian SME that is constantly innovating to remain competitive in their industry and EDC is excited to play a supportive role in their international growth."

EDC is Canada's trade finance agency, and the leading provider of financing, insurance and bonding for Canadian companies of all sizes that do business outside of Canada.

Mio Global designs and manufacturers innovative wearable devices that make heart rate training accessible to athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Packed with Mio Continuous Technology, Mio products provide performance-accurate heart rate data without a chest strap, and connect to fitness apps and sport devices via Bluetooth Smart and/or ANT+. Mio products are sold to major retailers throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The company also has licensing deals with three industry giants: adidas, TomTom and, more recently Garmin.

In 2014, Mio Global posted revenues of $14.8 million, and is projecting sales of $27 million in 2015. Exports now represent 95 per cent of Mio's sales with the U.S. holding 40 per cent of its market; Europe is at 35 per cent and Asia garners 20 per cent.

The Garmin deal, signed in May 2015, is a great step forward to gain brand recognition for the Mio brand. With Mio Continuous Technology in Garmin's products, the Canadian brand will get "much broader visibility moving forward," says Arciniega.

Read more about how Mio Global is expanding its business through exports on exportwise.ca.

About Mio

Mio Global is an acclaimed pioneer in sport and fitness wearable technology. Mio sport bands and watches are equipped with industry-leading heart-rate accuracy and fitness tracking solutions to help athletes at all levels set and surmount their fitness goals. The company headquarters is located in Vancouver, B.C.

For more information, visit www.MioGlobal.com.

About EDC

EDC is Canada's trade finance agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works with private and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.

For more information about how we can help your company, call us at 1-888-434-8508 or visit www.edc.ca.

SOURCE Export Development Canada throug CNW by press release ©

KneeBinding Gains Momentum With First Of Its Kind Ski Binding

Professional-level bindings combine performance with unique knee protection 

Stowe, VT  KneeBinding, an American brand based in Stowe, VT, is taking the ski industry by storm with its line of ground-breaking ski bindings, equipped with the most revolutionary alpine binding innovation to appear on the market in over five decades. Engineered specifically for modern ski shapes, and with over 10 years of product research and development under its belt, KneeBinding offers the only flat mount ski bindings proven to protect against most ACL tears – the most commonly reported injury in the sport – all without compromising performance. 

Designed to excel at every skier level and used extensively by seasoned hard-chargers and first-timers alike, KneeBinding products add a third dimension to standard bindings with a first of its kind PureLateral™ heel release. This multi-patented mechanism detects the forces that cause harmful knee tears and can release before the injury happens - without any pre-release issues. 

While the lateral heel release protects your knees, the one of a kind FlexFloat™ floating mount system and unique Leveredge™ interface allow users to access their ski’s full potential. KneeBindings are specifically designed for shaped skis, allowing the ski to flex more naturally through each turn, while improving leverage, edge-grip, and retention, ensuring skiers get the most from their equipment.

“We founded KneeBinding to empower skiers of all ages and skill sets to not only perform at the highest level but to also finally be able to trust that their gear will protect them against the most common, serious ski injury,” said Steve Walkerman, Chief Operating Officer. “We have spent the past seven years perfecting our bindings to be sure we offer the highest quality product on the market. We believe that your gear should always have your back, and we’ve worked tirelessly to live up to that promise.” 

In an otherwise stagnant market, KneeBinding offers a world of firsts:
  • The only binding for flat skis with a floating mount system, allowing modern skis to flex the way they are intended to and minimizing risk of premature release
  • The only binding on the market with boot platforms in both the front and rear that match the width of the boot sole, improving leverage and edge-grip
  • The only binding manufactured in the USA
  • The only carbon fiber binding on the market
  • The only binding proven to protect against most ACL and other knee injuries.
“50 years ago, broken legs were the number one injury for avid skiers,” said John Springer-Miller, KneeBinding Chairman. “The development of safety bindings in the 1960s with lateral toe and forward heel releases solved the broken leg problem, and these became the standard protocol for all bindings. Now, KneeBinding is doing for knee ligaments what those bindings did for fractures. It’s the next step forward to take this sport to the next level, and as skiers ourselves, we are excited to continue pushing the boundaries of where our gear can take us.” 

KneeBinding currently offers a collection of five models, including the newly released HardCore14, the world’s only carbon-fiber binding, and a model specifically configured for women. KneeBindings are available now for purchase at over 500 trusted retailers worldwide. 

For more information on KneeBinding, please visit http://www.KneeBinding.com.

About KneeBinding :

Made in America and based in Stowe, VT, KneeBinding provides the world's only proven solution to the more than 70,000 ski-related ACL injuries and countless other knee injuries that occur every year. The safest alpine ski bindings in the world, KneeBinding products have a multi-patented, first-of-its-kind PureLateral™ heel release that detects the forces that cause most knee injuries and releases the ski boot before an injury can occur. Engineered specifically for modern ski shapes, KneeBindings protect skiers from injury without compromising retention and performance. 

To learn more about KneeBinding, please visit http://www.KneeBinding.com.

Source KneeBinding through PRWEB by press release ©

Atomic and Salomon bolster marketing department in the United States

Newly-appointed marketing manager will drive brand initiatives and increase awareness

Ogden, UT – June 22, 2015Atomic and Salomon, leaders in ski industry innovation and performance, are proud to announce the appointment of Nick Castagnoli as the new North American regional marketing manager for winter sports equipment, for both brands. Atomic and Salomon are sister brands owned by Finnish sporting goods company Amer Sports.

“We’re looking forward to adding Nick’s experience and leadership to our already great team,” said Mike Adams, Amer Sports winter and outdoor vice president of winter sports equipment. “He’ll be a great asset to both brands as we continue grow.”

Castagnoli comes to Atomic and Salomon with over 15 years of experience in the ski industry, including the past nine years working for Group Rossignol. Most recently, Castagnoli served as Communications and Public Relations Manager for the Group Rossignol portfolio, including: Rossignol, Dynastar, Lange, Look, and Kerma brands, where he was responsible for the production and delivery of all outward facing brand, category, product, and partnership communications.
As the marketing manager Castagnoli will manage all marketing initiatives from print, digital, retail, go to market and sports marketing to brand and category activation and consumer engagement.

“Atomic and Salomon each boast an incredible history of innovation within winter sports and I couldn’t be more excited to contribute to the growth of these iconic heritage brands,” says Castagnoli. “I’m looking forward to integrating amongst the strong marketing and commercial teams we have in place here, diving into the product lines, and helping shape the strategies that will enhance the sell-through efforts of our sales force and dealers.”

Born and raised in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Castagnoli attended the University of Colorado in Boulder where he majored in English and has spent the past two decades living and playing in the Rocky Mountains. He is now based in Ogden, Utah, home to Atomic and Salomon North America, and enjoys mountain biking, trail running, skiing, and renovating his new house with his wife Venessa.

About Atomic:

Founded in 1955, Atomic manufactures products tailored for ski racers, freeskiers, backcountry skiers, cross-country skiers, beginners and World Champions alike. Every Atomic product is more than the sum of its parts, not only incorporating the know-how of creative experts, but also embodying the passion for skiing of every Atomic employee. www.atomic.com

About Salomon:

Salomon, the mountain sports company. Salomon was founded in 1947 in the heart of the French Alps. Since then, we’ve been creating innovative products to enhance the performance of athletes. Performance led design is our past. Performance led design is our future. www.salomon.com

Polaris Reports Record First Quarter 2015 Results; EPS Increased 9% to $1.30 on 16% Sales Growth

First Quarter 2015 Highlights:
Sales increased 16% to $1,033.3 million, setting a new record for the first quarter.
North American retail sales increased 8% in the first quarter.
Operating income increased 19% to $150.3 million during the 2015 first quarter.
Narrowing guidance range for full year 2015 earnings to $7.27 to $7.42 per diluted share, an increase of 9% to 12% based on sales growth of 9% to 12% for the full year 2015.

MINNEAPOLIS-- Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today reported record first quarter net income of $88.6 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, an increase of nine percent from the 2014 first quarter net income of $80.9 million, or $1.19 per diluted share. Sales for the first quarter 2015 totaled $1,033.3 million, which represents an increase of 16 percent from last year’s first quarter sales of $888.3 million.

“I am pleased to report record sales and earnings for our 2015 first quarter, with sales up 16 percent, operating income up 19 percent and net income up nine percent, our 22nd consecutive quarter of record earnings performance,” commented Scott Wine , Polaris’ chairman and chief executive officer.

“We outperformed the market again in most of our businesses in spite of increased competitive promotional pressures, weakening global markets and the corresponding negative effect from currencies. While we are justifiably proud of these accomplishments, we remain focused on seizing the numerous opportunities we missed to perform better. From factory inventory being too high to ongoing production inefficiencies, particularly in motorcycles, we did not perform to our capabilities or our expectations. However, we are making great strides towards addressing these issues, and I am confident those efforts will allow us to continue outperforming our markets.”

Wine continued, “My confidence comes first and foremost from the skill and passion of Polaris’ 8,000 team members. Our team has never been stronger or deeper, demonstrated by the recent internal promotions of Chris Wolf and Craig Scanlon , both 10+ year Polaris veterans, to run our Snowmobile and Slingshot® businesses, respectively, following Mike Jonikas’s retirement. Second, product innovation remains a significant growth driver.

During the quarter, we added to our stable of innovative motorcycles with the introduction of the Indian Chief Dark Horse®, the Victory Magnum X-1®, and a limited edition Slingshot SL. Additionally, we unveiled seven new mountain snowmobiles incorporating our award winning Axys® chassis, making the best mountain sled, the Polaris RMK®, even better. And we expanded our manufacturing footprint to China, while extending the breadth and reach of our ORV business, with the acquisition of Hammerhead Off-Road®, which produces light gas and electric utility vehicles and gasoline powered go-karts.”

Wine concluded, “We suspected 2015 would have its share of challenges and the first quarter confirmed our suspicions. Nevertheless, we continue to see another year of solid growth and market share gains, which gives us confidence in achieving our sales and earnings guidance for the full year.”

2015 Business Outlook
For the full year 2015, the Company is narrowing its guidance range and now expects earnings to be in the range of $7.27 to $7.42 per diluted share, an increase of 9 to 12 percent over full year 2014 earnings of $6.65 per diluted share. Full year 2015 sales are expected to grow in the range of 9 to 12 percent over full year 2014 sales, unchanged from previous issued sales guidance.
First Quarter Performance Summary (in thousands except per share data)
Three Months ended March 31,
Sales Components
Off-Road Vehicles $ 645,413 $ 580,113 11 %
Snowmobiles 14,496 15,586 -7 %
Motorcycles 137,417 78,867 74 %
Global Adjacent Markets 65,397 61,213 7 %
Parts, Garments & Accessories   170,622     152,567   12 %
Total Sales $ 1,033,345   $ 888,346   16 %
Gross Profit $ 293,731   $ 258,417   14 %
Gross profit as a % of sales 28.4 % 29.1 % -66 bps
Operating Expenses $ 158,087   $ 142,375   11 %
Operating expenses as a % of sales 15.3 % 16.0 % -73 bps
Operating Income $ 150,286   $ 126,682   19 %
Operating Income as a % of sales 14.5 % 14.3 % +28 bps
Net Income $ 88,563   $ 80,901   9 %
Net income as a % of sales 8.6 % 9.1 % -54 bps
Diluted Net Income per share $ 1.30   $ 1.19   9 %
Off-Road Vehicle (“ORV”) sales increased eleven percent from the first quarter 2014 to $645.4 million. This increase reflects ongoing market acceptance of our industry leading brands, particularly the RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side brands, during the 2015 first quarter. Polaris’ North American ORV unit retail sales were up mid-single digits percent from the first quarter of last year, with consumer purchases of RANGER’s and RZR’s each increasing from the first quarter last year. North American ATV retail sales decreased low-single digits percent due to heavy competitive promotional spending during the 2015 first quarter with ACE up significantly. The Company estimates North American industry ORV retail sales in the first quarter 2015 increased mid-single digits percent. Polaris ORV dealer inventory was higher in the 2015 first quarter compared to a year ago reflecting new segments and models added, an increase in dealer count and the change to the ATV RFM sales order process. Sales of ORVs outside of North America decreased ten percent in the first quarter 2015 when compared to the first quarter 2014, primarily due to weak economic conditions, primarily in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) region, as well as the currency impact of a strengthening U.S. dollar.

Snowmobile sales totaled $14.5 million for the 2015 first quarter compared to $15.6 million for the first quarter of 2014. Historically, the first quarter is a slow quarter for snowmobile shipments to dealers. The North American snowmobile industry finished the season strong with industry retail sales up mid-single digits percent for the entire season ending March 31, 2015 due to favorable early snowfall levels in parts of the North American snowmobile riding areas and strong new product introductions. Polaris’ North American retail snowmobile sales were up high-single digits percent for the full 2014-2015 season resulting in an increase in market share. Polaris dealer inventories, while elevated from the prior season-end, remain at acceptable levels for the 2014-2015 season-end. Sales to customers outside North America decreased 12 percent in the first quarter 2015 primarily due to the currency impact of a strengthening U.S. dollar. During the quarter, the Company introduced its model year 2016 snowmobile lineup highlighted by the all-new 408-pound 800 PRO-RMK®, the industry’s lightest and strongest sled designed to deliver the ultimate deep snow and mountain riding experience.

Motorcycle sales increased 74 percent in the 2015 first quarter to $137.4 million. All three brands, Victory, Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot, increased sales in the first quarter. Consumer retail demand for Victory and Indian Motorcycles during the 2015 first quarter, was up nearly 40 percent over last year’s first quarter, driven primarily by strong Indian Motorcycle retail sales, while first quarter North American industry heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle retail sales were up low-single digits percent from 2014. Slingshot retail sales were ahead of expectations. All three brands added to their product portfolios during the quarter with Indian Motorcycle introducing the Indian Chief Dark Horse, which is built upon the successful and award-winning Indian Chief® platform with only a flash of chrome and a heavy dose of matte black paint; Victory showcased the new Magnum X-1, a new bagger with a 200-watt, 10 speaker audio system and custom factory paint; and Slingshot adding a limited edition model packed with head-turning features, including striking Nuclear Sunset Orange coloring, dual windscreens and an interior LED lighting package. Sales of Polaris motorcycles outside of North America decreased 12 percent in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to a year ago due to the currency impact of a strengthening U.S. dollar.

Global Adjacent Markets’ sales increased seven percent to $65.4 million compared to the first quarter of 2014. The Company’s government/military group experienced double digit percent sales growth during the 2015 first quarter. Work and Transportation (“W&T”) group sales increased mid-single digits percent during the 2015 first quarter with North American W&T sales increasing double digits percent while W&T outside North America declined partly resulting from lower Aixam sales in EMEA due to the impact of negative currencies.

Parts, Garments and Accessories (“PG&A”) sales increased 12 percent during the first quarter 2015 to $170.6 million compared to the same period last year. The Company experienced sales increases in ORV, Motorcycles and Global Adjacent Markets driven by continued product innovation, increased integration of accessories, improved product availability and an ongoing focus on apparel sales through the Klim business, offset somewhat by weak snowmobile parts sales due to poor snowfall levels in key riding areas during the 2015 first quarter.

International sales to customers outside of North America totaled $153.1 million for the 2015 first quarter, down seven percent from the same period in 2014. The decrease in first quarter sales was due to a 15 percent decline in sales in the EMEA region, partially offset by a 75 percent increase in Latin American sales and a six percent increase in sales in Asia/Pacific.

Gross profit increased 14 percent to $293.7 million in the 2015 first quarter compared to $258.4 million in the first quarter of 2014. As a percentage of sales, gross profit margin declined 66 basis points to 28.4 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2015, compared to 29.1 percent of sales for the same period last year. As expected, negative currency movements, primarily the Canadian dollar, along with unfavorable product mix, pressured gross margins during the 2015 first quarter, which was somewhat offset by lower product costs and higher pricing.

Operating expenses for first quarter 2015 grew 11 percent to $158.1 million or 15.3 percent of sales, compared to $142.4 million or 16.0 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2014. The Company began to realize operating expense leverage from prior year’s research and development and infrastructure investments offset somewhat by higher long-term incentive compensation expenses.

Income from financial services was $14.6 million during first quarter 2015, an increase of 38 percent compared to $10.6 million in the first quarter of 2014 due to higher income from increased profitability of the retail credit portfolio as well as higher income from Polaris Acceptance’s dealer inventory financing.

Equity in loss of affiliates was $1.6 million for the first quarter 2015 compared to $0.9 million last year, which represents the Company’s portion of the start-up costs related to the Polaris/Eicher joint venture in India established in 2012.

Non-operating other expense (income) net, which primarily relates to foreign currency exchange rate movements and the corresponding effects on foreign currency transactions related to the Company’s foreign subsidiaries, was $7.4 million of expense in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $2.1 million of income in the first quarter of 2014.

The provision for income taxes for the first quarter 2015 was $49.8 million or 36.0 percent of pretax income compared to $44.2 million or 35.3 percent of pretax income for the first quarter 2014. The higher income tax rate for the first quarter 2015 is primarily due to lower income from the Company’s international operations in the 2015 first quarter compared to the same period last year and the income tax rate in the first quarter 2014 reflecting favorable outcomes of income tax audits.

Financial Position and Cash Flow
Net cash provided by operating activities was $4.2 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 compared to net cash provided by operating activities of $44.7 million for the first quarter of 2014. The decline in net cash provided by operating activities in the 2015 first quarter was the result of increased working capital requirements primarily from higher factory inventory, decreased accounts payable and lower accrued expenses offset somewhat by higher net income. Total debt, including capital lease obligations and notes payable, at the end of the first quarter 2015 was $329.1 million. The Company increased its quarterly dividend payment for the 20th consecutive year by ten percent to $0.53 per share and paid a total of $35.1 million in dividends to shareholders, and repurchased 571,000 shares for $86.3 million during the 2015 first quarter. The Company’s debt-to-total capital ratio was 28 percent at March 31, 2015, compared to 35 percent a year ago. Cash and cash equivalents were $111.0 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $101.8 million for the same period in 2014.

Conference Call and Webcast Presentation
Today at 9:00 AM (CDT) Polaris Industries Inc. will host a conference call and webcast to discuss Polaris’ 2015 first quarter earnings results released this morning. The call will be hosted by Scott Wine , Chairman and CEO, Bennett Morgan , President and COO, and Mike Malone , Vice President – Finance and CFO.  

A slide presentation and link to the audio webcast will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Polaris web site at http://ir.polaris.com.
To listen to the conference call by phone, dial 877-706-7543 in the U.S. and Canada, or 973-200-3967 internationally. The Conference ID is # 61972568.

A replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the call for a one-week period by accessing the same link on our website, or by dialing 855-859-2056 in the U.S. and Canada, or 404-537-3406 internationally.

About Polaris
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2014 sales of $4.5 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road consumer and military vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.
Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory® and Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot® brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global Work and Transportation vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered Parts, Accessories and Apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin®, Cycle Country® and Pro Armor® brands.

Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polaris.com.

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release, including management’s expectations regarding 2015 sales, shipments, net income, and net income per share from continuing operations are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include such factors as the Company’s ability to successfully implement its manufacturing operations expansion initiatives, product offerings, promotional activities and pricing strategies by competitors; acquisition integration costs; warranty expenses; impact of changes in Polaris stock price on incentive compensation plan costs; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; environmental and product safety regulatory activity; effects of weather; commodity costs; uninsured product liability claims; uncertainty in the retail and wholesale credit markets; performance of affiliate partners; changes in tax policy and overall economic conditions, including inflation, consumer confidence and spending and relationships with dealers and suppliers. Investors are also directed to consider other risks and uncertainties discussed in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not undertake any duty to any person to provide updates to its forward-looking statements.
(summarized financial data follows)
(In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
  Three months ended March 31,
2015   2014
Sales $ 1,033,345 $ 888,346
Cost of sales 739,614   629,929  
Gross profit 293,731 258,417
Operating expenses:
Selling and marketing 69,685 65,570
Research and development 38,863 35,513
General and administrative 49,539   41,292  
Total operating expenses 158,087 142,375
Income from financial services 14,642   10,640  
Operating income 150,286 126,682
Non-operating expense (income):
Interest expense 2,910 2,812
Equity in loss of other affiliates 1,623 896
Other expense (income), net 7,440   (2,105 )
Income before income taxes 138,313 125,079
Provision for income taxes 49,750   44,178  
Net income $ 88,563   $ 80,901  
Basic net income per share $ 1.33   $ 1.23  
Diluted net income per share $ 1.30   $ 1.19  
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic 66,429 65,833
Diluted 68,146 67,958
(In Thousands)
Subject to Reclassification   March 31, 2015   March 31, 2014
Current Assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 111,005 $ 101,789
Trade receivables, net 173,199 150,464
Inventories, net 629,285 482,874
Prepaid expenses and other 70,964 59,326
Income taxes receivable 5,308 3,030
Deferred tax assets 112,494   93,024
Total current assets 1,102,255 890,507
Property and equipment, net 558,753 495,053
Investment in finance affiliate 96,247 71,439
Deferred tax assets 35,656 20,048
Goodwill and other intangible assets, net 210,451 226,461
Other long-term assets 77,421   60,941
Total assets $ 2,080,783   $ 1,764,449
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
Current Liabilities:
Current portion of capital lease obligations $ 2,203 $ 3,076
Accounts payable 304,656 257,795
Accrued expenses:
Compensation 56,583 50,870
Warranties 48,634 47,224
Sales promotions and incentives 136,653 133,058
Dealer holdback 107,087 90,374
Other 74,543 77,284
Income taxes payable 19,698   27,333
Total current liabilities 750,057 687,014
Long-term income taxes payable 10,091 13,405
Capital lease obligations and notes payable 35,174 28,723
Long-term debt 291,688 300,000
Deferred tax liabilities 15,719 24,067
Other long-term liabilities 101,081   85,369
Total liabilities $ 1,203,810   $ 1,138,578
Deferred compensation 14,695 10,022
Shareholders’ equity:
Total shareholders’ equity 862,278   615,849
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 2,080,783   $ 1,764,449
(In Thousands)
Subject to Reclassification   Three months ended March 31,
2015   2014
Operating Activities:
Net income $ 88,563 $ 80,901
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization 37,081 28,069
Noncash compensation 17,094 12,785
Noncash income from financial services (6,794 ) (1,543 )
Deferred income taxes 5,868 (2,262 )
Tax effect of share-based compensation exercises (27,476 ) (8,884 )
Other, net 3,090 896
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Trade receivables 26,749 36,037
Inventories (66,063 ) (63,210 )
Accounts payable (40,433 ) 19,727
Accrued expenses (59,831 ) (81,942 )
Income taxes payable/receivable 33,241 35,312
Prepaid expenses and others, net (6,864 ) (11,139 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 4,225 44,747
Investing Activities:
Purchase of property and equipment (30,784 ) (39,703 )
Investment in finance affiliate, net (346 ) (678 )
Investment in other affiliates (10,049 )  
Net cash used for investing activities (41,179 ) (40,381 )
Financing Activities:
Borrowings under debt arrangements / capital lease obligations 817,324 652,838
Repayments under debt arrangements / capital lease obligations (723,306 ) (633,887 )
Repurchase and retirement of common shares (86,267 ) (244 )
Cash dividends to shareholders (35,114 ) (31,719 )
Proceeds from stock issuances under employee plans 19,010 9,365
Tax effect of proceeds from share-based compensation exercises 27,476   8,884  
Net cash provided by financing activities 19,123 5,237
Impact of currency exchange rates on cash balances (8,764 ) (62 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents (26,595 ) 9,541
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 137,600   92,248  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 111,005   $ 101,789  

Source: Polaris Industries Inc.©
Polaris Industries Inc.

Richard Edwards, 763-542-0500