Winchester second quarter ammunition sales decline, again

Winchester at the 2015 annual NRA meeting. (Photo: Winchester/Facebook)

Winchester Ammunition faced another tough second quarter, according to regulatory filings published Tuesday.

Parent company Olin — a prominent chemical manufacturer — reported a 2 percent decline in the ammunition line’s sales, totaling $165.9 million through June 30. In 2017, Olin watched Winchester sales plummet 15 percent — a lingering side effect of the presidential election.

This year, the company blamed lower commercial sales and higher commodity and material costs.

Still, sales in Olin’s other categories — including chlorine and caustic soda, vinyls, epoxies, chlorinated organics, bleach and hydrochloric acid — topped $1.7 billion, a 13 percent increase over 2017.

“Strong performances by both the Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls and Epoxy businesses contributed to this outcome,” Chief Executive Officer John Fischer said Tuesday.

In February, Fischer predicted military sales would exceed 25 percent of its business in 2018. He told investors the growth in clientele in 2017 helped offset a challenging commercial year for Winchester.

“Well, historically, we have always said that between 10 percent and 15 percent of Winchester’s sales were to the military,” he said. “I think this year, you’re going to see that be more in the range of 25 percent of the sales will be to the military. And that is a combination of higher absolute military sales and a lower commercial contribution to that.”

Share prices for Olin increased more than 2 percent Tuesday after financial results became public. Olin will host a conference call with investors Wednesday to further discuss results.

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