Garmont International has reported a net profit of €629,000 for 2015, 142 percent above the level of 2014. Operating earnings before amortization (Ebitda) grew by 105 percent to €278,000. Sales grew by 40 percent to €12.5 million, or by 20 percent on a comparable, pro-forma basis.
It was a very good performance for an Italian company that was nearly bankrupt before its assets were acquired at the beginning of 2014 by a group of financial investors led by Pierangelo Bressan and a regional investment bank, Veneto Sviluppo.
Last year's growth was higher than expected under the business plan formulated by the new owners, which projected revenues to reach a level between €16 million and €18 million four years after the takeover. About 20 percent of sales are from the military/tactical segment. Aside from this segment, only 15 percent of the turnover is generated in Italy.
Further growth is expected this year from the brand's international expansion. Garmont has started trading again in the U.K. and the Benelux countries. Marco Sancandi, the former Italian country manager of the Lafuma Group who a year ago became Garmont's director of operations, is also reopening markets like Iran and Turkey.
Besides the North American market, where it has had a subsidiary since the end of 2014, Garmont also has a presence in countries such as China, Japan and Taiwan. In China, it has gained a new distribution partner, Arctos, a premium Chinese brand of outdoor apparel that has acquired Garmont's longtime distributor, Chana Dorje.
Garmont North America is selling mostly tactical gear, but Sancandi wants to develop again its sales of outdoor products, with a goal of returning to an annual level of around $5 million in this segment. He describes the situation in Russia as “stop and go.”
After shedding its loss-making ski boot business, which was sold to the Scott Sports group in 2014, Garmont wants to be recognized as a premium Italian brand of high-quality outdoor footwear. While refreshing its “anatomically directed design” technology, it has introduced a new G-Hell technology for the spring/summer 2017 season. It works like articulation in a skeleton to help reduce over-pronation while providing cushioning and arch support.
In spite of the apparel culture of its new owners, Garmont has no immediate plans to introduce an apparel line. It is developing the concept of fast trekking instead of trail running like many of its competitors. Reinvesting its profits in R&D activities, Garmont plans to come out with a new line of functional winter shoes for the country and the city – not for hunting – as part of its autumn/winter 2017/18 collection at the next Ispo Munich show.