Polygiene, the Swedish odor-control brand, launched Odor Crunch at this year's Ispo show in Munich. The new technology is primarily an add-on to Polygiene's Stay Fresh odor control, which was launched 12 years ago to reduce bacterial growth and the need for frequent washes, thus contributing to lower environmental impacts by saving water and energy.
Odor Crunch was pre-launched to select test partners in the autumn of last year. The company has signed licensing agreements for the use of its branded technologies with more than 140 brands from the outdoor and sporting goods industry. Adidas is currently the largest of them. Other major brand partners in the sports and outdoor sector, which accounted last year for about 72 percent of its revenues, are Patagonia, Salomon, The North Face and Eddie Bauer, among others
Polygiene has improved its financial results considerably in the past year, while introducing strategic changes and investing in new sales structures and new managers under the leadership of Ulrika Björk, who became the chief executive of Polygiene in January of last year, following a thorough evaluation of all aspects of its business.
Notably, to strengthen its presence in the important Asian market, the Swedish company opened a new subsidiary in Hong Kong, specifically to handle sales and marketing in China. Polygiene will continue working with its agents in the strategic markets of South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
Björk, who previously served as the company's chief financial officer, was promoted to the CEO role to replace Christian von Uthmann, who left the company last April. Kristian Populin assumed Björk's former position. He had previously worked as accounting manager for Polygiene, reporting directly to Björk. Before joining Polygiene, he was chief financial officer at Comsys, Mobill Scandinavia and Dvel.
Among other recent appointments, Polygiene hired Rebecka Harvyl as new marketing manager last October. She had served as a project manager and marketing coordinator at another Swedish company, Hemmakväll.
Bobby Howell was appointed as Polygiene's commercial director for North America, covering the West Coast. He previously worked for Arc'teryx, Asos and 7Mesh. Two new salesmen were hired to take charge of sales in the U.S., where it formerly worked through local sales agents.
Last April, Peter Sjösten, chief commercial officer and a key player in Polygiene's build-up over the past eight years, became acting vice president of new ventures and strategies, adding to his duties as chief commercial officer. In May, Polygiene promoted Haymo Strubel to the position of chief sales officer. Strubel, who is based in Berlin, was previously director of commercial operations in Europe. He had joined Polygiene in 2016, when the company went public. Last July, Trevor Saunders, a textile veteran, took the position of chief technology officer, after working for the company for more than ten years.
Meanwhile, last December Polygiene divested one of its business units, Protective Surfaces, generating cash of 10.6 million Swedish kronor (€1.0m-$1.1m), which the company plans to use to stimulate further growth. The sale boosted its operating profit in the last quarter of 2018, which was slightly positive anyway.
For the full financial year, the company booked an operating profit (Ebit) of SEK 7.8 million (€0.7m-$0.8m), turning around from a loss in the previous year of SEK 6.1 million, thanks in part to cost controls, giving it an operating margin of 9.5 percent. The company made a net profit of SEK 7.2 million (€0.7m-$0.8m) against a loss of SEK 8.0 million.
Including royalties, revenues went up by 4.4 percent for the year to SEK 69.0 million (€6.6m-$7.5m), with an increase of 9.2 percent in the last quarter. The gross margin dropped to 65.6 percent from 67.9 percent in the prior year.
Polygiene has an ambitious goal to achieve sales of more than SEK 400 million (€41.9m-$50.6) by 2022 through organic growth. It is also targeting an operating margin (Ebit) of more than 20 percent by 2022 at latest.