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Business momentum was led by our direct-to-consumer e-commerce business which grew 35 percent year-over-year, reaching 20 percent of our total net sales mix. In our wholesale business, we experienced a strong finish to the Fall sales season as well as excellent early season sell-through of our Spring assortment. Consumer demand is high and retail inventories are lean, resulting in a favorable full price selling environment.
We are committed to driving sustainable and profitable long-term growth and investing in our strategic priorities to:. ET today. Analysts and investors are encouraged to review this commentary prior to participating in our conference call.
The Company's top priority throughout this pandemic remains to protect the health and safety of our employees, their families, our customers and our communities. While there were isolated temporary store closures resulting from local regulations or safety concerns, the majority of the Company's owned stores remained open throughout first quarter First quarter include the impact of port congestion and logistics constraints that resulted in later timing of Spring inventory receipts and deliveries.
All comparisons are between first quarter and first quarterunless otherwise noted. Gross margin expanded basis points to Gross margin expansion was primarily driven by decreased reserve provisions related to less excess inventory, lower DTC promotional levels and favorable channel and region sales mix.
The reduction in bad debt expense was driven by incremental COVID-related bad debt reserve provisions in first quartercompared to a reduction of bad debt reserves in first quarter The reduction in inventory was primarily driven by lower Spring inventory purchases, a reduction of excess inventory and delayed receipts of Spring inventory. Inventory at quarter-end primarily consisted of current and future season product. Aged inventories represent a manageable portion of our total inventory mix.
These risks and uncertainties limit our ability to accurately forecast. This outlook reflects our estimates as of April 29, regarding the impact on our operations of the COVID pandemic, economic conditions, supply chain and logistics capacity constraints, and changes in consumer behavior and confidence, as well as geopolitical tensions.
However, it is not possible to determine the ultimate impact on our operations foror whether other currently unanticipated direct or indirect consequences of the pandemic are reasonably likely to materially affect our operations. Projections are predicated on normal seasonal weather globally.
Net sales are expected to increase Gross margin is expected to improve to basis points to Demand creation as a percent of net sales is anticipated to be 6. Effective income tax rate is expected to be approximately 22 percent. The effective income tax rate may be affected by unanticipated impacts from changes in international, federal or state tax policies, changes in the Company's geographic mix of pre-tax income, other discrete events, as well as differences from our estimate of the tax benefits associated with employee equity awards and our estimate of the tax impact of various tax initiatives.
Foreign currency translation is anticipated to increase net sales growth by approximately basis points. Foreign currency is expected to have essentially no impact on earnings as favorable foreign currency translation impacts are anticipated to be offset by foreign currency transactional effects from hedging of production. The lower operating cash flow forecast for is primarily driven by changes to projected year-end inventory. This change in outlook is based on the expectation of receiving Spring inventory earlier than ly projected. Based on first quarteradvance wholesale orders for the Spring season and plans for growth in our global DTC businesses as we anniversary prior year temporary store closures, we believe mid to high percent first half year-over-year net sales growth is achievable prior high-teens percent to low percent.
Please note the second quarter is typically our lowest volume sales quarter and small changes in the timing of product shipments and expenses can have a material impact on reported. Historically, second quarter profitability has been challenging given our fixed cost structure, resulting in the Company reporting a second quarter earnings loss in most years. The Company will hold its first quarter conference call at p. Dial to participate. Columbia Sportswear Company plans to report second quarter financial on Monday, August 2, at approximately p.
Since Columbia Sportswear Company is a global company, the comparability of its operating reported in United States dollars is affected by foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations because the underlying currencies in which it transacts change in value over time compared to the United States dollar.
To supplement financial information reported in accordance with GAAP, the Company discloses constant-currency net sales information, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, to provide a framework to assess how the business performed excluding the effects of changes in the exchange rates used to translate net sales generated in foreign currencies into United States dollars. The Company calculates constant-currency net sales by translating net sales in foreign currencies for the current period into United States dollars at the average exchange rates that were in effect during the comparable period of the prior year.
Management believes that this non-GAAP financial measure reflects an additional and useful way of viewing an aspect of our operations that, when viewed in conjunction with our GAAPprovides a more comprehensive understanding of our business and operations.
In particular, investors may find the non-GAAP financial measure useful by reviewing our net sales without the volatility in foreign currency exchange rates. This non-GAAP financial measure also facilitates management's internal comparisons to our historical net sales and comparisons to competitors' net sales.
The non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed in addition to, and not in lieu of or superior to, our financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. The non-GAAP financial measures presented may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Forward-looking statements often use words such as "will," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "should," "may" and other words and terms of similar meaning or reference future dates. The Company's expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis; however, each forward-looking statement involves a of risks and uncertainties, including those set forth in this document, those described in the Company's Annual Report on Form K and Quarterly Reports on Form Q under the heading "Risk Factors," and those that have been or may be described in other reports filed by the Company, including reports on Form 8-K.
Potential risks and uncertainties include those relating to the impact of the COVID pandemic on our operations, which is highly dependent on numerous factors that we may not be able to predict or control, including: the duration and scope of the COVID pandemic, including any recurrence due to variants; actions that may be taken to contain the pandemic or to treat its impact, including lock-downs and the speed of the vaccination roll-out; economic slowdowns that have and may continue to result from the pandemic; workforce staffing and productivity; our ability to continue operations in affected areas; supply chain and logistics capacity constraints; and consumer demand and spending patterns, as well as the effects on suppliers, creditors, and wholesale customers, all of which are uncertain.
The Company cautions that forward-looking statements are inherently less reliable than historical information. The Company does not undertake any duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this document to conform them to actual or to reflect changes in events, circumstances or its expectations. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for the Company to predict or assess the effects of all such factors or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
Columbia Sportswear Company connects active people with their passions through its portfolio of well-known brands, making it a global leader in outdoor, active and everyday lifestyle apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment products. Founded in in Portland, Oregon, the Company's brands are sold in approximately 90 countries.
To learn more, please visit the Company's websites at www. Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:. Proceeds from issuance of common stock related to stock-based compensation. Supplemental disclosures of non-cash investing and financing activities :. View source version on businesswire. Press Releases. Related Documents Audio. March 31.
Current Assets:. Cash and cash equivalents. Short-term investments. s receivable, net. Inventories, net. Prepaid expenses and other current assets. Total current assets. Property, plant, and equipment, net. Operating lease right-of-use assets. Intangible assets, net. Deferred income taxes. Other non-current assets.
Current Liabilities:. Short-term borrowings. s payable.
Accrued liabilities. Operating lease liabilities. Income taxes payable.
Total current liabilities. Non-current operating lease liabilities.
Other long-term liabilities. Total liabilities. Shareholders' equity. Total liabilities and shareholders' equity. Three Months Ended March 31.Looking for Columbia investor
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