Rapala reports sales growth across all global markets
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Rapala VMC Corporation has reported a strong set of figures for 2018 with organic sales growth of 7% compared to the previous year and revenue increases across all its global markets.
Net sales were €262.4m – up 4% from 2017 – and operating profit increased by 66% to €14.8m (€8.9m).
President and CEO Jussi Ristimäki told shareholders this morning: “We managed to achieve good results and are especially happy that we grew sales in all geographical areas. Our position with major customers in North America is strong and we have solid underlying consumer demand for our products in the market. Consequently, we witnessed double digit sales growth in the area with comparable exchange rates.”
Despite an encouraging sales performance, Ristimäki said that the group’s performance continues to be hampered by its Indonesian lure manufacturing operation where it is making further operational changes and improvements.
“There is clear profit potential which will start to materialise gradually from 2019,” he added.
“Execution of our strategy of improving profitability, lightening the balance sheet and improving operational performance is progressing well. Ongoing lean projects and supply chain management initiatives continue to yield results.”
Ristimäki added that one of the key focus areas in 2019 will be a strategic gradual shift from traditional marketing to digital. “We successfully opened a content-driven Rapala e-commerce site in Europe last year to enhance brand experience and to increase customer service.
“One of our key near term strategy priorities is to accelerate the global development of the rod and reel category as well as to increase full-scale direct access to sell Rapala products in large fishing tackle markets in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and the Benelux countries from April after the termination of the distribution agreement with Shimano.”
Ristimäki said that the market outlook is encouraging with a strong order book for 2019. “The group sees continued healthy consumer demand for its products via old and new channels. Our position with major customers in North America is strong. In Europe the price competition in certain product categories has increased and the markets continue to be very competitive. Overall we expect to grow sales in group products this year.”