FREEPORT (AP) — L.L. Bean just finished its best spring and summer season in five years, with a performance that was strong enough to warrant the first midyear employee gift since 2007, the company announced.

Sales from March through August for the outdoors retailer were up 3 percent from the same period last year, bolstering the company’s position going into the critical end-of-year sales period, said Chris McCormick, president and CEO.

“While our most important selling season is still in front of us — moving into these critical fall weeks with a small cushion of profitability positions us well for the second half of the year,” McCormick told employees Monday in a memo.

The company’s board approved a $1 million bonus that’ll amount to $185 apiece for employees hired before February, spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said. The privately held company didn’t disclose its spring sales figures.

L.L. Bean is known for sharing the wealth in good times with an annual bonus based on the company’s performance.

Last spring, the company’s 5,000 full- and part-time workers received a bonus equivalent to 7.5 percent of their annual wages after the company reported $1.52 billion in revenue for the company’s fiscal year.

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