Rapala VMC brands 2017 ‘exceptional and challenging’
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Rapala VMC Corporation branded 2017 as an ‘exceptional and challenging year’ as it reported a 3% decrease in sales for the period.
In its report to investors this morning, the group said its performance during the year was hindered by operational challenges at its Indonesian manufacturing facility, retail turmoil in North America, which saw two of its key customers enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and declining market conditions in Russia and France.
Jussi Ristimäki, President and CEO, added: “The ongoing structural changes in the US retail market had a negative impact on our sales and profitability as consumers are increasingly going online. We are responding to this by making more investments in our digital presence and by increased focus on customers operating online.”
The positive highlights for the group were good sales development in its carp business, sales of its Marttiini knives, alongside successful turnarounds in the Canadian and Southeast Asia markets.
Ristimäki added: “Execution of our strategy of improving profitability, lightening the balance sheet and improving operational performance is proceeding well. In July we made some changes to our management structure to speed up the process.
“One of the key priorities for 2018 is to generate a significant profitability improvement at our Indonesian lure factory. We will elaborate more on strategy and its execution in a capital markets day organised in May.”
The group reported net sales of €253.3m compared to €260.6m in 2016 and a comparable operating profit of 11.4m (2016: €18.8m).