The Finnish Amer Sports group, which is the parent company of Salomon and Suunto, reports weaker sales for the first nine months of 2009. Turnover was down by 3 percent and reached €1,050.6 million. Earnings before interest and taxes dropped from €43.7 million to €4.4 million. Significant declines in sales and Ebit came mainly from the challenging North American market.

The winter and outdoor division, which comprises the Salomon and Suunto operations, slipped by 2 percent to €262.4 million in sales in the third quarter and remained flat at €533.4 million in the first nine months. Major declines in sales came from cycling under the Mavic helm and winter sports equipment with the related brands Atomic and Salomon.

Apparel and footwear, which are mainly driven by Salomon and to a smaller degree by Arc’teryx, remained very strong. Apparel and footwear’s sales were up by 6 percent to €99.3 million in the third quarter and by 13 percent to €230.9 million in the first nine months. Salomon’s footwear sales were particularly strong in northern and Central Europe while the U.S. continues to be challenging. The sports instruments division, Suunto, had slightly improved sales to €22 million in the third quarter.

Over the nine months sales were down by 6 percent, however, and reached €61.2 million. Suunto’s decline resulted from softened sales in the U.S. and in the sector of diving instruments (more in Sporting Goods Intelligence Europe).