Marimekko posts ‘modest’ sales growth

MarimekkoFinnish print and textile brand, Marimekko, has posted improved sales and earnings for the first quarter, but stated trend is forecast to be modest due to the uncertainty in the global economy.

The retailer has posted a seven per cent increase in net sales to €22.5 million.

International sales fell two per cent to €10.7 million, which accounts for 47 per cent of the total, a decrease of 52 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

The company posted a 142 per cent increase in comparable EBITDA of €2 million, but results fell 1.1 per cent to €0.9 million.

“Our net sales and earnings for the first quarter of 2017 grew as expected,” said Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, president and CEO.

“Net sales rose by seven per cent. The main reason for the growth was a change in the timing of our annual sales promotion in Finland, this year the promotion was timed for the turn of March and April whereas last year it was held entirely during the second quarter,” she said.

In Australia, the company stated that “prospects are expected to continue to be positive,” with the brand launching its latest store in the revamped Chadstone shopping centre late last year.

However, the trend is forecast to be modest.

“On the other hand, uncertainty in the global economy does not appear to be letting up this year either, partly due to the unpredictable political situation,” Kasko said. “It can also be seen that consumers in all markets are more price-conscious than before and, especially in Finland, price sensitivity in consumers’ purchasing behaviour has increased during the past few years.”

According to Kasko, this year they are continuing their long-term development work related to the revamp of their collections and their brand. They are also planning on boosting their online presence.

“Digitisation has for years been one of the most important phenomena transforming our sector,” Kasko said. “We see it as a great opportunity to our internationalising Marimekko for boosting both our products’ availability and our brand profile.”

Kasko said in January, they will extend their e-commerce to 16 new countries; today it operates in 29 countries.

“The development of online business and multi-channel distribution plays a very important role for us this year as well,” she said.

“We will unwaveringly continue the long-term development of the company by which we seek profitable growth and enhanced competitiveness.”

Kasko said the Asia-Pacific region, Marimekko’s second-biggest market, plays a significant part in the company’s internationalisation.

“Japan is clearly the most important country in this region to Marimekko; the other countries’ combined share of the company’s net sales is still relatively small, as operations in these markets are in fairly early stages,” she said. “Japan already has a very comprehensive network of Marimekko stores, and new ones are being opened at a rate of a few stores per year.”

Sales in the Asia-Pacific region this year are forecast to be roughly on a par with the previous year. The company announced most of the Marimekko stores and shop-in-shops to be opened in 2017 will be in the Asia-Pacific region, and the company sees growing demand for its products in this area especially in the longer term.

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