Vista Outdoor: Ammo price increase set for April

The Edge TLR series is all all-range hunting ammunition, allowing for both close up and distance shots. (Photo: Vista Outdoor)

Vista Outdoor said it will raise prices on certain ammo product lines in April. (Photo: Vista Outdoor)

Vista Outdoor said ammo prices will increase for a second time this year as the industry adopts a “rational and disciplined approach” to generating sales.

Chief Executive Officer Christopher Metz told investors Thursday the company will raise prices in the low to mid single digits on certain product lines in April. Vista took a similar step in January — one Metz believes competitors will soon follow.

“I think some are a little bit slower to it than we’d like to see,” he said. “It’s impossible for me to see how competitors are not going to take price increases. They’re going to have to.”

Vista owns more than three dozen companies in firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories, including Savage Arms, Stevens, Federal Premium, Speer and American Eagle. It also holds brands in the outdoor lifestyle market.

The pricing changes following a third challenging quarter for the company. Sales topped $581 million, dipping 11 percent over last year as weak shooting sports performance drags down Vista’s gains in the outdoor market, Metz said.

Shooting sports sales dropped 21 percent while the category’s gross profit tanked 47 percent, according to regulatory filings.

Still, Metz expressed little concern about the impact of price increases on consumer demand or Vista’s bottom line.

“We are putting forward price increases that we think are realistic and so far what we’ve seen from buying behavior is no real changes,” he said. “So they’re restricting in the marketplace and they are being received well.”

Vista anticipates 2018 sales will not exceed $2.26 billion.

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