Rating agency Moody’s reports that Amer Sports, the parent of Arc’teryx, Salomon, Wilson, Peak Performance, Suunto and Atomic, which has been majority controlled by Chinese sportswear giant Anta Sports since 2019, reported solid sales growth of +29 percent in the first nine months of 2021. The gains were driven by DTC growth in the Chinese market, which is expected to reach €300 million for the year, up from €190 million in 2019. In light of these insights into Amer’s results, Moody’s raised its outlook from stable to positive and affirmed the company’s B3 corporate family rating and other debt ratings.

Moody’s expects Amer’s sales to continue to grow strongly this year, largely due to the expansion of its retail network in China. Moody’s says that consumer demand has been stronger than expected in the sports apparel, footwear and individual ball sports equipment segments and the rating agency cited Arc’teryx’s rapid growth as an important factor. It also noted that the company plans to invest in the Salomon brand this year. However, expansion in China will be capital intensive, and free cash flow is expected to be negative until at least 2023. 

A few days ago, Amer Sports announced that it would sell Suunto, the Finnish manufacturer of sports watches, dive computers and precision instruments, to Chinese technology company Liesheng within the first half of 2022, following regulatory and other regulations required approvals.