Samsonite International reported a 19.6 percent increase in total sales to $915.6 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, including growth of 18.7 percent in local currencies, but this was mostly due to acquisitions.
On an organic basis, excluding Tumi and the eBags business, which were taken over in August 2016 and last May, respectively, consolidated sales went up by 4.9 percent.
Thanks to Tumi's high margins and other factors, the gross margin improved by 57.1 percent across the group from 54.9 percent a year ago. This improvement was partially offset by an increase in marketing expenditures by 1.2 percentage points to 5.8 percent of sales, in order to drive future growth. Excluding extraordinary charges, adjusted Ebitda went up by 18.7 percent to $160.4 million, while net profit rose by 11.1 percent to $65.7 million.
Organically, sales grew in all regions. The biggest growth took place in Latin America and Europe, where they went up by 22.4 percent and by 6.8 percent, respectively. They rose by 3.1 percent in North America and by 3.3 percent in Asia.
Revenues from e-commerce and own stores increased by 20.2 percent organically. Adding those generated by Tumi and eBags, they represented 9.2 percent of group sales, up from 4.1 percent in the same quarter a year ago. On a same-store basis, retail sales rose by 2.6 percent in constant currencies.
Among other brands in Samsonite's porfolio, those in the outdoor sector had mixed results. Gregory, a former property of Black Diamond, raised its quarterly sales by 19.7 percent to $15.1 million, with North America and Asia posting double-digit growth in local currencies. Sales went up also in Europe.
High Sierra, the other less technical brand of backpacks owned by the group, saw its sales decline by 18.9 percent to $13.9 million. Samsonite attributed the decline to various factors such as a lower B2B business, the timing of back-to-school shipments to online retailers in North America and the group's decision to focus on the sale of backpacks under its other brands in certain markets outside the U.S.
For the whole nine-month period through Sept. 30, consolidated sales soared by 26.7 percent in U.S. dollars as well as in local currencies, reaching a record of $2,501.7 million. Adjusted Ebitda went up by 23.5 percent to $401.9 million, but the adjusted net income showed an increase of only 4.1 percent to $165.9 million.