Mammut sales slipped nearly 5 percent in 2011; lowered prices to battle strong Swiss franc

Mammut Sports Group revenue fell 4.7 percent in 2011 as the Switzerland-based outdoor gear and apparel brand struggled with sales and currency exchange rates due to the European economic crisis, officials said.
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Mammut Sports Group revenue fell 4.7 percent in 2011 as the Switzerland-based outdoor gear and apparel brand struggled with sales and currency exchange rates due to the European economic crisis, officials said.

Mammut reported year-end 2011 revenue of 210 million Swiss francs ($233.6 million) versus 221.2 million Swiss francs ($245.1 million) a year ago. Officials said Mammut was forced to lower prices in the face of a strong Swiss franc that rose against the weaker euro and dollar during the economic crisis, which brought in cheaper competing imports to Switzerland and lessened margins on Mammut’s exports.

Officials also noted a warm and dry start to the European winter and the company’s investment in acquiring avalanche airbag business Snowpulse as other factors eating into sales.

The bright spot for Mammut was in Germany, which relatively remained strong throughout the European economic crisis. There, Mammut reported “double-digit growth in local currencies.” Officials said sales in South Korea and Japan also rose in 2011.

“The opening of additional mono-brand stores in these countries provided further growth impetus,” officials stated in Mammut’s earnings release. “The business unit continued its efforts to make the Mammut brand and product range more visible by opening further stores in Germany, Switzerland and Spain.”

Looking ahead, company officials expect the Swiss franc to remain strong, but expressed uncertainty of how the European economy will fare moving ahead. Officials said they would remain flexible. Extreme cold temperatures and snow did arrive to much of Europe by early 2012, and by the end of the year Mammut expects to open a new European storage and logistics center in Germany.

Mammut, owned by the Conzzetta Group, accounted for nearly 19 percent of its parent company sales. Conzzetta, which also makes sheet metal, glass processing and foam products reported its 2011 revenue up 7.2 percent.

--David Clucas

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