2001: Business - Spalding, Binder part; 2Q figures improve

Edward R. Binder, who as executive vice president of marketing was one of Spalding Sports Worldwide Inc.’s highest-ranking officers, no longer is with the company.

Sources told Golfweek that Binder’s departure was due in part to philosophical differences over ways to improve the fortunes of the debt-laden equipment company based in Chicopee, Mass. Spalding’s brands include Top-Flite, Strata, Ben Hogan and Etonic.

Binder could not be reached and company officials declined to comment.

Binder joined the company in early 1999; he formerly was vice president of marketing for Dunkin’ Donuts Inc.

News of Binder’s departure came just before Spalding Holdings Corp., the parent of Spalding Sports Worldwide Inc., Aug. 3 reported an 8 percent increase in net sales and a 42 percent gain in net income for the second quarter ending June 30. The company, however, posted a loss through the first half of the year.

Spalding’s net sales for the quarter were $139 million. By comparison, the company posted net sales of $128.6 million during the same period a year ago.

Strong consumer response to the new Strata Tour Ultimate premium ball, Ben Hogan Apex Edge irons and Top-Flite XL 2000 irons drove the increase in golf sales, said company officials. Specific figures were not disclosed.

Net income for the period reached $5.8 million, up from the 2000 second-quarter figure of $4.1 million. This represents the highest level of net income for any quarter since the company’s reorganization – in which it was separated from Evenflo Co. Inc. – in August 1998, according to Spalding officials.

The company reported net sales for the six months ending June 30 increased 5 percent to $247 million, compared with $235.7 million recorded for the six months ended July 1.

Meanwhile, iron sales at the two primary distribution channels in June fell 5.4 percent to $57.5 million from $60.8 million during June 2000. Unit sales were virtually flat at 891,110 compared with 895,200 last year.

Golf Datatech is an industry research firm based in Kissimmee, Fla., that tracks retail sales of golf products through major distribution channels.

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