Escalade earnings stay sluggish

Profit for sports- and office-products maker Escalade Inc. was flat in the quarter ended Dec. 31 on lower sales of sporting goods to mass-market retailers.

The Evansville company earned $2.6 million, or 20 cents a share – virtually the same as during the fourth quarter of 2006.

Sales fell 7 percent to $40.9 million.

“Industry-wide erosion in consumer demand for soccer and hockey game tables is the primary reason for the decline, and this trend is expected to continue into next year,” the company said.

Escalade said sales to specialty sporting goods retailers are growing, however.
Office products grew 5 percent, with a slowdown in the U.S. office market offset by more demand for paper shredders in Europe, the company said.

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