HEAD pegs worldwide ski market at 3.2 million pairs, $465 million

Head's latest financial report includes some very telling estimates on the worldwide state of ski, boot and binding sales, as well as a brief overview of how the market has changed in the past 20 years. SNEWS goes by the numbers.

Head NV estimates there were 3.2 million pairs of ski sold worldwide at a wholesale price of €320 million, or $465 million in 2010. Head included the estimate as part of the company’s annual Dutch Financial Report, filed April 14, 2011 with the Dutch Financial Market and the Vienna Stock Exchange.

In the report, Head stated the "company estimates that there are approximately 50 million skiers and 8 million snowboarders active worldwide and that the market for winter sports equipment (i.e., hardgoods) in 2010 was approximately €920 million ($1.3 billion) at the wholesale level, consisting of €320 million ($465 million) for skis, €150 million ($218 million) for bindings, €230 million ($334.3 million) for boots and €220 million ($319 million) for snowboard equipment.” The company estimates that Europe constitutes 65 percent of the market, followed by a 26-percent market share in North America, and 9-percent share in Japan.

The overall ski market has dropped by more than 50 percent in the past 15 to 20 years, down from a high of 6.5 million pairs sold per year in the 1980s to Head’s estimated 3.2 million pairs this year, according to the company. At the same time, ski bindings declined from approximately 5.9 million pairs sold per year in the early 1990's to approximately 3.2 million in 2010. And the ski boot market increased from 3.6 million pairs sold in 2003 to 4.0 million pairs in 2006. In 2007, the market collapsed to 2.8 million pairs of ski boots and since then improved in 2010 back to 3.6 million pairs sold.

Head’s own wintersports revenues in 2010 increased by €19.4 million ($28.2 million), or 12.9 percent, to €169.7 million ($246.8 million). In the report, the company stated, “This was caused by higher sales volumes in all of the company’s product categories except snowboard equipment, better product mix in all important markets and the devaluation of euro.”--Peter Kray

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