The Tecnica Group announced the successful completion of a new financing agreement with a pool of banks that have supported the company over the past years. The company will benefit from a new credit line of €175 million, including €110 million for its seasonal working capital requirements and a new medium-term loan of €60 million to amortize the cost of previous acquisitions.

The move proves the banks' confidence in the company's ability to generate profits and to further reduce the debts accumulated from the takeover of brands such as Nordica, Rollerblade and Blizzard, particularly after the recently reported dismissal of a large part of its workforce. It comes after a year in which the company managed to generate positive operating earnings before amortization (Ebitda) million on sales of €330 million, according to preliminary figures. Earlier, Tecnica had predicted that it was reach Ebitda of around €20 million for the year.

Company officials indicated that all the brands contributed to the sales increase of about 2 percent, led by its two summer brands, Lowa and Rollerblade, plus Nordica and Moon Boot. Sales of skis and ski boots were relatively flat in terms of volume.

In spite of the planned €6.7 million sale of Dolomite to Symphony Global Brands (see SGI Europe n° 25-38+39 of Dec. 5), which is still in the due diligence process, the business plan endorsed by the banks calls for higher operating profits and a further sales increase to an annual level of more than €350 million in the four years through 2018.

To help achieve these goals, Tecnica has budgeted investments of more than €30 million during the four-year period in new product development and marketing. The marketing budget has been raised slightly. In the area of snow sports, it will continue to focus on ski racing, working with fewer athletes, many of whom won medals at the recent FIS World Cup.

The company will continue to fund key restructuring initiatives aimed at lean manufacturing, the strategic realignment of the sales and distribution network, spending cuts, and improved logistics and other operations.

The family of Giancarlo Zanatta and his son Alberto will maintain its control over the Tecnica Group. A new chief executive from outside the family is expected to be appointed within the next couple of months, taking the place of Alberto Zanatta, who will continue as chairman of the board of directors. Giancarlo will remain in the board.