Vista CEO says ‘change is hard’ as sales decline, again
By Christen Smith
Vista Outdoor struggles with sales as the company navigates a new strategic plan sans firearms. (Photo: Vista Outdoor/Facebook)
Vista Outdoor’s “year of transformation” came with some growing pains this week as the company reported declining sales and stagnating demand.
Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz told investors Thursday he remains “pleased” with employees’ “efforts, accomplishments, passion and determination to ensure we achieve success,” despite the 7 percent downturn in sales through its first quarter ending July 1.
“We have initiated and implemented a significant amount of change within Vista Outdoor, and as we all know, change is hard,” he said. “They have truly embraced the vision. I am proud of our progress so far and confident that this transformation will result in a dramatically more focused and profitable Vista Outdoor that will generate significant shareholder value in years to come.”
The “vision” Metz unveiled for investors in May recommits Vista to ammo innovation and includes divesting some of its most high-profile brands, such as Savage Arms, Bell-Giro, Bollé, Serengeti and Cébé. A private equity firm in Europe bought the latter three brands for $158 million last month, while Metz told investors Thursday interest in the sale of Savage Arms remains high.
Vista owns 55 companies in