Gregory Mountain Products saw its sales grow by 28.8 percent last year to $44 million, with a 22.7 percent increase in constant currencies and strong progress in Europe, North America and Asia. In contrast, another less technical brand of backpacks in Samsonite's portfolio, High Sierra, booked a 3.5 percent sales decline to $82 million.
European sales fell by 37.5 percent in local currencies at High Sierra, reflecting a strategic decision by the group to focus more on Gregory in the region. After its acquisition of Gregory, Samsonite had sought to expand the European presence of High Sierra mainly in the lifestyle segment.
More recently, however, Samsonite has been focusing on Gregory for Europe and Asia and on another brand in its portfolio, Xtrem in Latin America. High Sierra's sales fell in all the regions except in North America, where they went up by 1.6 percent.
All three brands belong to the so-called casual segment of Samsonite, whose sales rose by 6.1 percent to $301.9 million last year, driven by Gregory and higher sales in Asia for the Samsonite Red line.
The acquisition of Tumi helped the Samsonite group to record a 15.5 percent increase in its overall turnover to $2,810.5 million in 2016. It grew by 6.0 percent organically and on currency-neutral basis. The gross margin rose by 1.4 percentage points to 54.1 percent, thanks largely to the 64.7 percent margin achieved by Tumi. The adjusted Ebitda margin went up 0.8 percentage points to 17.3 percent, posting a small improvement to 16.6 percent excluding Tumi. The group's adjusted net income increased by 18.9 percent to $257.0 million.
Acquisitions have helped Samsonite to book a 12.4 percent annual compound average growth rate in its sales during the five years since its public offering in 2011. According to the group, increases in disposable incomes and living standards in developing countries, the growing popularity of outdoor and adventure sports and the growth of the tourism industry are all expected to drive growth at a compound annual rate of 6.1 percent through 2021 for the global luggage market.