Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV) and the department of Haute-Savoie, in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France, have presented the results of the 3rd edition of the Observatory of the Outdoor sector. In 2015, the cumulative sales of the companies in the sector across the eight departments of the region grew by 5 percent to €3.6 billion. More than half of the companies (60 percent) realized part of their turnover abroad, with an average share of 30 percent of their total sales. In the course of the year, 29 new companies were created while 10 ceased their activity.

The departments of Haute-Savoie, Isère, Savoie and Rhône account for 85 percent of the companies in the region, as well as 91 percent of the total workforce and 97 percent of the overall turnover of the outdoor sector in the region.

The sector is largely characterized by small companies with less than 10 employees (75 percent), while 24 percent are small and medium-sized companies of 10 to 249 employees. Large companies with 250 or more employees only account for 1 percent of the total. The five large companies in this group are Salomon, Mavic, Quechua, Rossignol and Petzl, which accumulatively account for 70 percent of sales and 38 percent of employees.

The above figures are based on a survey conducted among companies that manufacture or distribute (B2B) products for outdoor sports across the region. The survey has been conducted this year on data referring to 2015. The number of companies involved in the 2016 survey (354) has grown by 2 percent as compared to 2014.

Meanwhile, outdoor products have been performing well in Europe at large. According to the latest annual report by European Outdoor Group (EOG), the market of outdoor products grew in value by 2.1 percent in Europe and 2.5 in France in 2015. The outlook for 2016 is promising, as 80 percent of the European executives in the sector have declared that the first semester of the year has also provided growth. In the Rhône-Alpes region, however, where 79 percent of the executives have declared they expect either flat or growing sales for 2016, the number of optimistic leaders is declining when compared with an 89 percent rate in 2015.