Callaway’s 2021 Financial Report – Key Takeaways

  • 2021 full-year sales over $3.1 billion, nearly double 2020
  • Topgolf revenue more than $1 billion
  • Golf equipment sales top $1.2 billion
  • 2021 net profit is $322 million
  • 2022 sales expected to reach $3.8 billion

Callaway’s 2021 financial report isn’t telling us anything we didn’t really expect but it’s still startling to see the numbers in print.

$3.1 billion in sales.

$3.1-freaking-BILLION.

That’s nearly twice what Callaway sold in 2020. And before you cry, “Yeah, but COVID,” it’s also 82 percent more than 2019.

We’ve often said in our past dives into Callaway’s financial reports (and Acushnet’s as well) that while the headlines tell the happy story, the details provide balance. But this time, there’s not much nuance. The headline is the story.

$3.1-freaking-billion.

Oh, and because you wanted to know, there’s also a $322-million profit.

As Callaway’s Johnny Rodriguez posted on Twitter yesterday…

Callaway’s 2021 Financial Report: Thank You, Topgolf

If Callaway decided tomorrow to stop selling golf clubs, golf balls and golf apparel, it would still be a billion-dollar operation. That’s how important last year’s Topgolf merger/acquisition is to the company.

The merger was made official last March 8. In 10 months under the Callaway umbrella, Topgolf pulled in just over $1 billion in revenue. It would appear golf gamification plus wraps, wings and margaritas equal a buttload of money.

“The combination of Topgolf and Callaway early in the year was transformational,” said Callaway CEO Chip Brewer in a statement. “We have been thrilled by the strong revenue growth and profitability, with both exceeding our initial expectations.”

Callaway 2020 Financial Reports

Callaway says while Topgolf’s walk-in traffic is strong, real growth has come via better-than-expected social events and corporate event bookings. The recent surge in Omicron has slowed that but Brewer told investors Topgolf’s UK venues experienced a similar downturn a month ahead of the U.S. and have bounced back quickly.

You’d expect the profits on $1 billion in Topgolf sales would be similarly staggering but Callaway is reporting $58 million in profits against that $1 billion in sales, for a margin of 5.3 percent. Several factors impacted profits, including a nearly $30-million interest increase due to the merger, along with a write-up to bring Callaway’s existing pre-merger stock in Topgolf up to market value.

Callaway opened nine Topgolf venues in 2021, including a 72-bay complex in Fort Meyers, Fla., in November.

Oh, Yeah. Golf Stuff

While Topgolf is getting the headlines, Callaway still sells a crap-ton of golf equipment. More than $1.2-billion worth. That’s a 25-percent increase over 2020 despite the fact Callaway released several new products in December of 2020. That’s one of the reasons Callaway’s Q4 golf equipment sales actually dropped compared to the previous year. The other reason is the company shifted its Q4 production to the new 2022 product lines announced in early January.

Broken down, we’re talking about nearly $1 billion in golf club sales alone in 2021, a 26-percent increase over 2020 and 30 percent over 2019. Ball sales for the year were up 20 percent over 2020 to $235 million and up over 11 percent from Callaway’s previous high in 2019.

Callaway 2020 Financial Report

Not coincidentally, the National Golf Foundation reports golf participation is the highest it’s been since 2012. The game and, presumably, Callaway welcomed 300,000 new golfers in 2021, bringing the total of people who call themselves golfers to 25.1 million in the U.S. That marks the fourth straight year of increased participation.

All those new golfers need stuff to wear, too. Callaway’s apparel sales jumped 40 percent to $491 million while its Gear, Accessories and Other (bags, gloves, tees, etc.) sales increased 26 percent to $326 million.

Golf equipment also adds the most to Callaway’s bottom line, making up nearly two-thirds of Callaway’s net profit of $331 million. Callaway’s 2021 financial report says the profit margin on clubs and balls is roughly 16.6 percent. Apparel, Gear, Accessories and Other added $69 million to the bottom line on sales of $817 million, at an 8.4-percent margin.

Callaway 2020 Financial Report

The 2022 Outlook

Like most publicly traded companies, Callaway didn’t provide investors with guidance throughout all of 2020 and much of 2021. With the post-COVID picture getting a bit clearer, Callaway is flexing its muscles and appears quite bullish on 2022.

The company projects 2022 revenues to reach $3.8 billion this year with more than $1.5 billion coming from a full year of Topgolf. Callaway also predicts Topgolf will add anywhere from $210 million to $220 million to its annual adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). Overall, Callaway projects 2022 EBITDA—a number that makes investors party like it’s 1999—to reach upwards of $490 to $515 million. The final 2021 EBIDTA was $445 million.

a side view of the Callaway Rogue ST MAX driver

To reach that $1.5 billion-plus mark, Callaway plans to open 10 to 11 Topgolf venues this year, including the first two facilities in Southern California. The new El Segundo facility will be near SoFi Stadium. Along with all the latest Topgolf fun, it will also include a 10-hole lighted golf course. New facilities planned for Seattle and Baltimore will also include Callaway club-fitting bays. Most of the new facilities are due to open in the second half of 2022.

The National Golf Foundation says the appetite for Topgolf-type golf entertainment continues to grow. Nearly 25 million people visited non-traditional golf venues in 2021. Nearly half of those are exclusively off-course participants.

Callaway also plans to install its Toptracer technology in 8,000 more driving range bays around the country in 2022. It added nearly 7,000 new bays in 2021, with 1,700 of those coming in Q4 alone.

Callaway 2020 financial report

To further expand its growing empire, Callaway is also trying to reach the traditional gamer with a new, golf-related video game. Details are scant but based on what Callaway is saying, it sounds like World Golf Tour meets World of Warcraft.

Callaway’s 2021 Financial Report – Final Thoughts

So, yeah, $3.1-freaking-billion is a freaking big deal. With its past acquisitions of OGIO, TravisMathew and Jack Wolfskin, Callaway made moves to diversify its business. That, friends, is another way of saying “equipment-proofing.” Diversification seemed prudent as the game was experiencing dwindling participation. But the past five years have reversed that trend and COVID has turbocharged it.

Adding Topgolf completely transforms Callaway into a golf-based lifestyle and entertainment behemoth. And don’t sleep on last year’s under-the-radar investment in Five Iron Golf, a growing chain of golf simulator-based purveyors of food and beverage. That deal includes a limited ownership stake which is how Callaway got started with Topgolf. Additionally, Five Iron Golf will offer the opportunity to demo, get fitted for and purchase Callaway clubs.

Five iron golf

Add that to the considerable fitting and purchase possibilities at Topgolf and it’s obvious Callaway is grabbing its own destiny by the lapels and not letting go. And those sales will no doubt be at full retail (you don’t want to be underselling your traditional retail partners) so all that lovely margin won’t have to be shared with anyone.

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