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Kevin Davis, president and CEO, Bauer Performance Sports

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Among those cheering the end of the 113-day lockout and return of major-league hockey is Kevin Davis, president and chief executive officer of Bauer Performance Sports Ltd.

Bauer is a major supplier of equipment to NHL teams and players in addition to millions of amateur puck-handlers around the world.

The company took a hit from the dimming of the NHL arena lights over the past several months, but not a major one, says Mr. Davis.

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Bauer is just pleased the venerable game is back – albeit in a truncated season – because of the valuable relationship it enjoys with the NHL, he said in an interview after the company reported second-quarter results Thursday.

The NHL is important to Bauer because of a certain intangible, halo effect, but it doesn't represent a significant part of its business, he said.

"There was a small reduction in revenue for us, but it was not material," said Mr. Davis.

One niche category that got whacked is hockey sticks.

Fewer hockey games in the 2012-2013 NHL season means fewer broken sticks.

And fewer broken sticks means fewer replacements supplied by Bauer to players, said Mr. Davis.

Lost revenues, however, are offset by the costs that have been avoided, such as player endorsement fees, he said.

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Bauer may also have gained some limited exposure abroad from the migration of Bauer equipment-wearing NHL players in Russian and European markets, he added.

In the second quarter, the company posted adjusted net profit of $7.3-million (U.S.), or 20 cents per share, compared with $4.4-million, or 14 cents, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue in the quarter rose to $109.6-million from $100.3-million.

Revenue got a boost from the inclusion of sales from recently acquired Cascade Helmets Holdings Inc. – a maker of lacrosse helmets and eyewear – and team uniform maker Inaria International Inc.

The lacrosse products company deal is part of a diversification strategy at Bauer, which also sells roller-skate gear.

Lacrosse is the fastest-growing team sport in North America.

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"Our newly launched hockey equipment products and our further investment into both apparel and lacrosse are key ingredients to our current and future success," Mr. Davis said in a news release Thursday.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More


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