Rapala boosted by improved sales in North America
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Rapala’s third quarter performance has kept the company’s year-to-date net sales figures close to those of last year.
Third quarter net sales were boosted by the North American market (+9%) and, despite challenging market conditions, show an overall 2% increase on the same quarter last year.
Rapala’s strategy to improve profits, lighten the balance sheet and improve operational performance is proceeding well, says the company.
Net sales for the first nine months of the year are down 1% from 2016 levels (2% with comparable exchange rates), while Rapala’s full-year forecast is unchanged at €260.6 million. However, operating profit will be “clearly below last year’s level.”
President and CEO Jussi Ristimaki said that sales of group products for the first nine months are slightly ahead of last year, but third party products have had a negative effect on overall sales development.
“The positive highlight for the quarter was the improved sales in North America, our biggest market but where the retail landscape has experienced strong turbulence,” he added. “Nevertheless we have been able to grow our sales in the region from last year.
“Trading conditions remained challenging in other main markets, especially in France and Russia.”
In its trading report published Friday, Rapala reports that sales were below last year’s level in the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe. Sales in the rest of the world were also down, affected mainly by Thailand and Australia, but showed increases in South Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. Latin America yielded strong growth over last year.
The group’s own fishing product sales for the quarter were below last year, driven chiefly by lower lures sales in North America. In Europe, fishing accessories sales fell, but the carp business grew as a result of greater strategic focus on the sector.
Third party fishing products were behind last year, due mainly to the loss of a product category in Poland and tough market conditions in Russia and France. Poor spring and summer weather was also a factor in Russia and northern Europe.