Ruger sales down 22 percent in first quarter

Ruger’s reported another disappointing quarter for sales Tuesday. (Photo: Ruger)

Sturm, Ruger and Company’s sales tanked in its first quarter, according to regulatory filings published this week.

Net sales topped $167.4 million through March 31 — a 22 percent decline over last year. The gun maker blamed “unfavorable de-leveraging of fixed manufacturing costs due to the decline in production volume” in a news release Tuesday. The gun maker will host a conference call with shareholders Wednesday.

Sales of new products introduced within the last two years — the Pistol Caliber Carbine, the Mark IV pistol, the LCP II pistol, the EC9s pistol, the Security-9 pistol, and the Precision Rimfire Rifle — generated $37.2 million, representing just under one third of the company’s total firearm sales.

The dismal earnings come three months after Chief Executive Officer Chris Killoy told investors the company cut 700 positions, reducing its workforce by 28 percent.

“While we reduced production in 2017, we were mindful of the impact that would have on our people, operations and profitability,” he said. “However, we had to make some difficult decisions. We developed a strategic plan focusing on not selling positions vacated through attrition and the reduction of overtime while carefully monitoring our headcount.”

“As a result, Ruger is better positioned to succeed in 2018,” he added.

Ruger reported annual net sales of $522.3 million last year, down 21 percent over 2016 — the biggest on record for federal background checks and by proxy, estimated gun sales.

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