The New Wave Group, the Swedish company behind Craft, said actions to prioritize costs, earnings and cash flow bore fruits in the third quarter. The operating margin gained 4.3 percentage points to 12.0 percent due to these efforts. It was only the second time in the company’s history that it reached this level in the third quarter.
On the other hand, sales declined in the period by 13 percent to 1,470 million Swedish kronor (€142.7m-$169.1m), or by 9 percent in constant currencies. The quarterly gross margin narrowed by 2.6 percentage points to 42.6 percent, due to a larger share of shipments in the Corporate segment, where sales went up by one percent. Net income rose by 26 percent to SEK 176.3 million (€16.8m-$19.9m).
In the Sports & Leisure segment, revenues declined by 29 percent, with most regions posting lower sales, but the most significant drop was seen in the U.S. Along with Craft, the division includes the Seger, Cutter & Buck and Ahead brands, as well as the distribution of Speedo in Scandinavia, among other brands and activities.
The group’s sales were affected by Covid-19 largely in the third quarter, although there was some recovery. By region, the group’s total turnover in Sweden rose by 4 percent, boosted by the Gifts & Home furnishings segment. Revenues in the U.S. tumbled by 43 percent. Sales in other Nordic countries were down by 19 percent, and revenues in Central and Southern Europe fell by 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Sales in Other countries, which includes Asia, climbed by 29 percent.
The management said that it is not releasing any outlook as the pandemic makes it difficult to assess the coming quarters, with great uncertainty about when the U.S. will recover. The group will continue to focus on improving the operating margin