All the divisions of the Lafuma Group registered sales decreases in the first quarter ended last Dec. 31 against the first quarter of the previous financial year due to a sluggish market in Europe and an Asian market that turned out to be less dynamic than in the previous seasons. Sales in the Surf division, represented by Oxbow, went down by 44.2 percent on a constant currency basis, similarly to the fate of many other surf brands in the world during the same period, which also went through a very rough patch.

The “Grand Outdoor”, with the Lafuma brand, recorded a 18 percent decrease. The Mountain division, with such brands as Millet, Eider and Killy, decreased by 5.9 percent. Millet and Eider resisted better thanks to the implementation of coherent product and commercial strategies. In contrast, the Lafuma brand was penalized by its generic outdoor positioning, facing harsh competition from the private labels of some big retailers.

Across the group, sales fell by 13.4 percent in France and by 18.8 percent internationally on a constant currency basis. During the coming quarters, the group will work to stabilize sales and improve profitability by focusing on both the quality of its products and services and sales strategies for each of its brands. The forecast for full 2012/2013 fiscal ending next September is for a sales decline, even though the negative trend of the first quarter should be more mitigated in the following quarters.

The sales drop should be partly offset by some of the initiatives launched during 2011/2012, including the sale of Le Chameau to Marwyn Management Partners for €16.5 million, which has provided some cash to copy with an increasingly difficult market.