Singing Rock is anticipating a sales rise of about 10 percent this year, as a change in ownership two years ago is leading to multi-faceted investments in staff and marketing.

The Czech specialist in climbing equipment already raised its turnover by about 4 percent to nearly €8.6 million in 2016. The increase in demand was driven by the professional market, and that continues to be the case this year, but Singing Rock is also reporting sizeable sales increases in the outdoor market in several international markets, from North America to Russia and China.

The company was divested two years ago by ARX, a private equity firm that bought Singing Rock in 2008 from its founders, the two Czech climbers Vladimir Krepka and Pavel Koncinsky, and from a Belgian businessman, Jan Godefroid. ARX had also bought a majority stake in Lanex, a Czech group specializing in ropes. The two companies were integrated for five years but then split again.

ARX went on to sell both properties to Rudolf Bochenek, a businessman who owns companies in several sectors. He now holds a majority stake in Singing Rock, with Rudolf Grego?ica, the executive director and chairman of Lanex, as a minority partner.

Artsiom Hasiankou, who previously worked in the personal protection equipment market, was appointed as sales director last year. His arrival was accompanied by the appointment of another five employees at Singing Rock, adding resources in marketing as well as research and development, administration, training and IT. The result of the projects that were started on the back of the these investments will become more apparent in the months ahead, in terms of marketing, training and supply chain.

Singing Rock has filled a gap in its distribution by appointing Günter Almberger as an agent for the Austrian market, starting in May. He sells several other brands in the sports and outdoor market, such as Prana, Trangoworld and Rip Curl. The Czech climbing equipment maker had previously tried to cover the market through distributors, but decided to handle deliveries directly from the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Singing Rock is marking the launch of its brand 25 years ago with a photo contest and the Singing Rock Summer Festival, which will take place on July 14-16 at the Žlutá Plovárna sports area in Malá Skála, near Liberec, and near the company's head office and production plant.