Business news : Fjällräven Brand Propels Fenix Outdoor's Q1 Sales

Fenix Outdoor Group reported that its sales in the United States increased 10 percent to SEK 42.3 million ($6.5 mm) in the first quarter ended March 31 on top of 8 percent growth a year earlier as it expanded distribution of Fjällräven with dealers already carrying its Brunton and Primus brands.

The Swedish company, which owns five outdoor brands as well as two of Scandinavia’s leading outdoor specialty retailers, reported sales increased 21 percent in Sweden, 21 percent in other Nordic countries, 24 percent in Germany, 9 percent in Benelux and 14 percent in the rest of Europe.

The Group’s Brand segment, which owns the Brunton (instruments), Fjällräven, (backpacks and gear), Hanwag (boots), Primus (stoves) and Tierra (apparel) brands, generated sales of SEK 329.7 million ($51 mm), up 12 percent from the first quarter of 2012. Fjällräven, which mean “Arctic Fox” in Swedish, showed the strongest growth, thanks to its growing presence in Eastern Europe and the United States.
Fenix Outdoor acquired Fjällräven U.S. distributor in January 2012 and now lists approximately 200 doors on its online retail locator. On Tuesday, Fenix Outdoor North America announced plans to expand distribution of Hanwag footwear in the United States. Founded in Bavaria near Munich in 1921, Hamwag offers a broad line of footwear for approach, casual, hiking, hunting and technical mountain climbing. The company still makes its premium line of double-stitched leather boots in Germany. Final production for all its footwear occurs in in Europe. 

The Group’s Retail segment, which includes 45 Naturkompaniet AB and Partioaitta Oy outdoor stores, reported sales of SEK 103.7 ($16mm), down 5.6 percent from a year earlier as sales slowed from their faster pace in November and December. Profits declined as Partioaitta opened two new stores in Finland and Naturkompaniet expanded in Sweden. The improvements resulted in higher rent and personnel costs, which could not be offset by higher margins. With 15 stores,  Partioaitta is one of Finland's largest outdoor specialty retailers. Naturkompaniet has 26 owned and five franchise stores. 

Consolidated results
Fenix Outdoor reported consolidated operating revenue of SEK 439.3 million ($68 mm) for the quarter, up 9 percent from a year earlier, or 11 percent in currency-neutral terms. The exchange rate for the Group's main selling currency, the euro, weakened by 4 percent compared with same period last year.
Consolidated operating income increased 21.1 percent to SEK 64.1 million ($10mm), or 14.6 percent of revenues, up 150 basis points from a year earlier. The increase was due to higher gross margin in the Retail segment, strong sales in Brands and other costs staying within plan. Staff costs increased slightly faster than the overall increase in sales, as the Group strengthened some key features and Retail opened more stores. Group corporate costs declined compared to a year earlier when the company incurred start-up costs for a larger warehouse in Holland.

Consolidated profit before taxes amounted to SEK 60.2 ($9.3mm), up 19 percent from SEK 50.4 million in the first quarter of 2012. Net income reached SEK 42.6 million ($6.6mm), up 17.4 percent. Earnings per share reached SEK 3.21 (50 cents), up 17.6 percent. The Group ended the quarter with inventory of SEK 449.7 million ($69mm), down 3.4 percent from a year earlier.

Liquidity and financial conditionThe Group's financial position remains strong. Liquidity at the end of March, compared to the year-end, of the Group's companies just completed an intense sales period with large accounts receivable positions as a result. The Group's inventory position is stable despite sales growth in Europe and in the U.S. market. The Group's liquid assets amounted to SEK 69.3 million. The Group's interest-bearing liabilities amounted to SEK 42.6 million. Consolidated shareholders' equity at the end of the period amounted to SEK 886.3 million, corresponding to an equity ratio of 76.3 percent.

Source Fenix Group through SportsOneSource

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