Thule exceeds financial and environmental goals

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Thule has published reports on the business’s 2015 performance, detailing both financial and environmental goals and delivering positive results on both fronts.

CEO Magnus Welander said of the performance: “Successful product launches and close collaboration with our retailers resulted in us increasing both sales and earnings. During the year, we also implemented a radical revamp of the European distribution structure which will bring benefits next year in the form of shorter lead times, improved service and a reduction in environmental impact.”

Sales increased 5.1 percent, adjusted for currency effects, and operating income, excluding items affecting comparability, improved SEK 132m year-on-year. As a result the business achieved an operating income of SEK 850m and an EBIT margin of 16 percent, a nice increase on the firm’s previous target of 15 percent. Therefore, at the start of 2016, the Board decided to adopt a new long-term target for an EBIT margin of 17 percent.

The business’s statement placed emphasis on supporting its retail partners, in particular pointing to the 2,900 authorized partner stores around the globe.

“Smart in-store solutions, sales-oriented product training, and efficient online tools are helping our retailers increase their turnover and strengthen our relationships with customers and consumers,” said Welander of Thule’s partner program, which is supported heavily on the group’s website, now attracting near 19 million visitors annually and available in 24 languages.

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2015 was a year that saw numerous new product introductions, with the group’s stronghold in sport and cargo carriers bolstered with launches like the VeloCompact and Thule Flow.

Progress also came in the Outdoor and baggage market, within which the Active with Kids portfolio excelled.

One downside to otherwise strong trading came from the outdoor camera bag market, which the CEO said “continued to be affected by the weak camera market and a decline in the sales of tablets, particularly in the US.”

The Americas, which represents around 35 percent of trade, posted a small dip of 1.8 percent in sales, while Europe and the rest of the world saw increases.

Welander concludes: “All in all, 2015 has been a fantastic year, with increased growth and improved profitability. We are continuing our commitment to consumer-driven innovation with many new and exciting products to be launched in 2016.”

Further to financials, Thule exceeded its goals for renewable energy use at its manufacturing sources, with 73 percent of electricity stemming from sustainable sources. The prior target was 60 percent by 2016.

You can read the 2015 summary here.