Camelbak went through 80 different applications before choosing Edi Kaiser as its new European sales manager. A former sales & marketing director for Spyder Active Sports, he worked until the end of May as general manager for Germany and Austria at Skins, the Australian supplier of compression garments.
Kaiser will take up his new functions on Aug. 25, just before the Eurobike show in Friedrichshafen, where Camelbak will show its first back protection units for mountain bikers. Certified for Level 2 protection from multiple impacts, they can be fitted with the company's hydration system. Camelbak will also have its first stand at the Ispo Munich show next February.
Reporting to Andrew Shand, the London-based senior director of sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Kaiser will be directly in charge of the German-speaking countries while supporting distributors in other parts of Europe. His nomination follows the company's decision earlier this year to close down its European office in Italy, leading to the departure of Massimo Fregonese, former director of international sales and marketing. The global marketing functions of the brand have been taken over by Kim Rogers, who is based in California and spent many years in Germany.
Meanwhile, Camelbak's parent company, Compass Diversified Holdings (CODI) reported an 8.5 sales increase for its Branded Consumer businesses in the second quarter ended June 30 as growth at Camelbak, Fox Factory and Ergobaby more than offset a larger than expected decline at Liberty Gun, which makes gun safes. The group generated net sales of $166.1 million compared with $153.1 million in the second quarter of 2013.
Camelbak's sales in the quarter grew by 18.5 percent to $40.9 million compared with the same period in 2013. They totaled $79.7 million in the first half of the year, up from $77.3 million during the same period last year.
Camelbak's sales increase in the latest quarter resulted from increased sales of bottles and accessories, offset in part by a decrease in sales of hydration systems and gloves. The sales growth for bottles was primarily attributable to an increase in international sales. The Eddy, the insulated Podium and the high-flow Chute water bottle lines performed well. Sales were also boosted by the launch of the Relay, Camelbak's first water-filtering pitcher. The decrease in glove sales resulted from the timing of government orders while the decline in sales of hydration systems was primarily due to the absence of Marine Corps' contract sales, which had reached $700,000 in the second quarter of last year. Military sales declined to 17 percent of gross sales for the three months ended June 30, compared with 27 percent for the same period in 2013. International sales increased to 21 percent of gross sales, as compared to 19 percent for the same period in 2013.
Camelbak's gross margin declined to 42.5 percent from 43.4 percent in the quarter ended June 30, 2013. The decrease was principally attributable to increased bottle supplier costs not passed on to customers and unfavorable sales mix in hydration systems. Income from operations was $5.8 million, an increase of 49.2 percent when compared to the same period in 2013.