Helly Hansen’s U.K. subsidiary has brought the distribution of all its products in-house as of April 28, precipitating the bankruptcy of a wholesale company, Helly Hansen Distribution UK (HHD UK), that was selling its sports and survival items to independent retailers. The Norwegian company’s U.K. office was previously handling directly only the national chains and other key accounts. HHD UK was also handling Helly Hansen’s workwear.
In a brief statement, Helly Hansen explained that the move will led to improved communication, flexibility of supply and enhanced stock and product assortments for all its retailers and partners. The company has boosted its in-house sales team to provide an outstanding level of service and ensure a smooth transition in terms of account management, customer support and marketing.
Criticizing what it described as the “hostile strategic company restructuring” moves of Helly Hansen UK, HHD UK said in a statement that they had placed it in a position that “made company administration the only option to resolve business differences.”
Meanwhile, Peter Sjølander, who has been running the Norwegian company since 2008, announced that Helly Hansen made a net profit of at least 35 million Norwegian crowns (€4.4m-$6.5m) last year, after many years of losses, in spite of a high debt load stemming from its leveraged buy-out by its new financial investors. This compares with a net loss of 15 million NOK in 2009.
The turnover rose to 1,656 million NOK (€208.8m-$309.3m) from 1,507 million NOK. Operating earnings before depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) ended up higher than expected at 198.3 million NOK (€25.0m-$37.0m), 55 percent higher than in the previous year. Orders in hand for the next fall/winter season are up by more than 25 percent.