Fenix Outdoor, the parent company of brands such as Fjällräven, Hanwag, Brunton, Primus and Tierra along with own retail operations in Sweden and Finland, had a good first quarter in terms of sales, which grew by 22 percent to a total of 402.9 million Swedish kronor (€44.8m-$56.4m) as compared to a year ago. Half of the increase was due to acquisitions.
On the other hand, profit margins declined at wholesale and at retail, leading the group to post a 17 percent drop in net profit to SEK 36.3 million (€4.0m-$5.1m).
Sales rose by 10.4 percent in the brands division to 294.3 million (€32.7m-$40.8m), with two percentage points of the growth related to the establishment of a subsidiary for Fjällräven in the U.S. However, the delayed start-up of a new warehouse for Hanwag in the Netherlands caused a loss for that brand and a decline in its revenues.
The unusual increase at retail was mostly due to Fenix' acquisition of the Finnish Partioaitta chain in May 2011, but not entirely. The number of stores soared from 27 to 47 compared with the previous year's first quarter, mainly because of the Finnish investment. Retailing in Sweden also had a positive development, nevertheless, as the company's big Swedish outdoor retail chain, Naturkompaniet, increased its sales by 6.9 percent to SEK 71 million (€7.9m-$9.9m) during the quarter.
The Partoiatta stores in Finland have already adopted Naturkompaniet's bear logo and its merchandising, while keeping their Finnish name on their banner.
The breakdown of the group's sales results by region shows that Germany, where the group's operations also cover Switzerland and Austria, continues to be by far the most important market with a turnover of SEK 97.5 million (€10.8m-$13.6m) in the quarter, representing some 25 percent of the group's turnover. The share of the business in the German-speaking countries dropped, however, from 28 percent, even though it was well up for itself.
This was again partially the result of Fenix' retail investment in Finland: The share of total sales of the group in “other Nordic countries” (besides Sweden) improved significantly from 11 to 20 percent. The Swedish home market lost one percentage point and reached 23 percent (including Naturkompaniet's retail operations). The Benelux countries and the rest of Europe reached a share of 11 percent, which was down from 14 and 12 percent, respectively. In turn, the U.S. business gained weight, rising from 6 to 8 percent of the total. Other regions were still marginal at 2 percent of sales.