LaCrosse Footwear increased revenues by 2 percent to $27.1 million in the second quarter ended June 25 thanks to strong growth in outdoor sales. The Portland, Oregon, company continued to be loss-making, booking a $0.2 million net loss compared with a net profit of $0.1 million a year earlier. It nevertheless announced the payment of a quarterly dividend of $0.125 per common share and was upbeat about the second half of the year, the strongest sales period for the outdoor business.

Analysts expect the company to end the year with a full-year net profit of nearly $5 million on sales of $140 million.

Sales to the outdoor market rose by 18 percent to $9.4 million on strong demand for hunting and hiking products. Sales to the work market were down instead by 5 percent to $17.6 million due to a reduction in orders from the American military and the decision in 2010 to interrupt the production of work apparel. Excluding military and apparel sales, work sales rose by 17 percent.

The gross margin narrowed to 38.5 percent in the second quarter from 40.9 percent a year earlier stemming from an increase in closeout sales of work apparel. Inventories rose to $53.4 million at the end of June from $26.4 million a year earlier to boost the availability of core products to address reorders, growth of the wholesale business and respond to orders from the military. The company anticipates a decline in inventories during the rest of the year and feels that military orders will continue to fluctuate on a quarterly basis.