Tecnica Group reported better-than-expected results for 2019, adding that e-commerce and sales of outdoor products and inline skates were positive in the first quarter of 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The net turnover of the group went up by 6.4 percent to a record €424 million in 2019, which was €40 million higher than it had projected for the year based on its latest business plan. Geographically, the biggest increases were recorded in the U.S. and Canada, where sales grew by 19.6 percent and 42 percent, respectively, following the creation of a single sales organization for all the brand in North America, except for Lowa.

Sales went up by 14.6 percent for Moon Boot, by 10.7 percent for Blizzard and Tecnica, by 9.4 percent for Nordica and by 6.5 percent for Lowa. They were more or less stable for Rollerblade, whose performance has changed considerably so far this year..

The same positive trend applied to the company’s operating profit: Ebitda went up by 22.7 percent to €49.7 million, or €9.1 million more than budgeted. Ebitda actually grew by 14.8 percent to a level of €63 million on a pro forma basis by annualizing the effect of last year’s increase in Tecnica’s share in Lowa from 60 to 75 percent and the group’s acquisition of Riko Sport, the major supplier of Lowa. Riko, whose results have been integrated since last August, has an annual turnover of €110 million.

Looking at the last few months, the company mentioned “extremely positive signs” for Rollerblade – online and offline - and the group’s overall sales in the U.S. and Northern Europe. Key retailers like Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods have placed strong orders since February, straining the company’s supply chain. In-line skates are described by the group as an accessible way of exercising while maintaining social distancing, which is enjoying a comeback as “an alternative and trendy way of getting around.”

While the present year will be “extremely tough,” the management pointed out that most of the group’s products are designed for individual sports and that the current situation is likely to encourage many people to venture outdoors, avoiding crowded places.

Meanwhile, the group’s various production facilities have reopened without any incidents and without any difficulties in delivering orders to clients. On the other hand, about half of the staff at the company’s Italian headquarters are still working from their homes.