Weyco Group reported sales of $87.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, down from $95.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The big problem was a sudden 22 percent drop for Bogs in North America, after many seasons of strong growth for the brand of outdoor boots, due to the mild start to the winter season. In Canada Bogs' sales were also down because of the exchange rate for the Canadian dollar.

Weyco Group posted earnings from operations of $11.5 million for the quarter, down from $13.4 million in the same period of 2014. Net earnings attributable to the company were $7.0 million, as compared to $8.1 million in 2014. Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2015 included $458,000 of income representing an adjustment to the earnout payment for Weyco's 2011 acquisition of Bogs. The final payment of $5.2 million is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.

The company's total revenues in the North American wholesale segment were down to $67.5 million for the quarter from $73.9 million in the year-earlier period. The segment includes licensing revenues. Within the segment, sales for the Stacy Adams brand grew by 5 percent, driven by the success of new products. This increase was offset by sharp decreases for Bogs as well as two other footwear brands, Nunn Bush and Florsheim. Sales of the Nunn Bush brand dropped by 10 percent, primarily due to lower sales at department stores and off-price retailers. Florsheim's sales were down by 2 percent. Licensing revenues amounted to $1.3 million, up from $1.2 million in last year's fourth quarter.

Overall product margins for the wholesale segment were 34.7 percent of sales, up from 34.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. Gross margins in the U.S. increased to 35.4 percent from 33.1 percent in previous year's fourth quarter, but this increase was offset by lower gross margins in Canada, where the margins continued to be negatively affected by the weaker Canadian dollar as inventory is purchased in U.S. dollars. Wholesale earnings from operations were $9.1 million, as compared to $9.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The decline in operating earnings was due to the lower operating earnings in Canada.

The revenues of the North American retail segment, which includes the company's Florsheim retail stores and its internet business in the U.S, were $7.4 million as compared to $7.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. This decrease was due to three fewer domestic retail stores operating in the quarter. Sales on a same-store basis, including U.S. internet sales, went up by 5 percent. Retail earnings from operations were $1.4 million, down from $1.7 million in prior year's fourth quarter.

Other sales, which include the wholesale and retail revenues of Florsheim Australia and Florsheim Europe, were down to $12.5 million, as compared to $13.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. This decrease was primarily due to lower sales at Florsheim Australia, caused by the exchange rate of the Australian currency. In the local currency, Florsheim Australia's sales were up by 5 percent. Earnings from operations at Florsheim Australia and Florsheim Europe were down to $1.1 million, as compared to $1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. This decrease was mainly due to lower gross margins in Australia's and South Africa's wholesale and retail businesses, which purchase their inventory in U.S. dollars. Their gross margins were impacted by the weakness of their local currencies versus the U.S. dollar.

For the full year 2015, the group's overall sales were flat at $320.6 million, as compared to $320.5 million in 2014. Earnings from operations were $29.8 million, down slightly from $30.7 million in 2014. Net earnings went down to $18.2 million from $19.0 million, due primarily to currencies. The North American wholesale segment had an excellent year, with sales, gross margins and operating earnings all increasing.