Schwan-Stabilo, the parent company of Deuter and other outdoor brands, is in the process of setting up a sales subsidiary for the outdoor division in China next month, to take the place of a former distributor of the brand. Provided that it gets its registration by July 1, it would start distributing Deuter before adding the other brands, but the transition may have a negative effect on this year's results for the brand.
Deuter is still regarded as the leading brand of backpacks in Europe, where competition is high. This should be compensated for by the excellent results of Ortovox, which is growing very strongly, and decent results for Maier Sports and Gonso. Overall, Martin Riebel, who heads up the outdoor division of Schwan-Stabilo, says that he would be happy if this year's sales at least matched those of the financial year ended on June 30, 2018, when the division's sales went up by 3.1 percent to €169.3 million.
Meanwhile, Deuter has announced that Anna Steffen, the former quality manager of Sympatex, will be the brand's new quality and CSR manager. The 32-year-old takes the place of Katrin Bauer, who is moving to Ortovox.
More important changes are taking place at group level, clarifying the top management structure. Sebastian Schwanhäusser, a fifth-generation shareholder of the family-owned Schwan-Stabilo group and a member of the executive board, is taking on the role of group chief executive. He will work as joint managing director with Martin Heim, who will serve as chief financial officer as he has done since 2012.
Previously, the interests of the group and of its three business units – writing instruments, cosmetics and outdoor – were managed by them and by the heads of the three subgroups. Schwanhäusser, who has been running Stabilo, will now concentrate on strategic management and development, focusing on issues such as digitalization, expansion in Asia and sustainability. He was born in 1963.
Riebel will remain in charge of the outdoor division. He will sit on the management board together with the two managing directors of the group and the heads of the two other divisions.