Operating result was boosted by growth in sales in Finland, an increase in relative sales margin and a lower cost level than in the comparison period, said the company in its interim report for the January-March period of 2017.
"Our net sales and earnings for the first quarter of 2017 grew as expected. Net sales rose by 7 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," said Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, president and CEO, Marimekko Corporation.
"Sales in Finland grew by 17 per cent. Our operating result improved compared with the same period in the previous year. This was influenced by growth in sales in Finland, an increase in relative sales margin and action taken last year to boost profitability. It is worth noting that, in our business sector, net sales are typically low on a seasonal basis during the first quarter relative to operating costs," added Alahuhta-Kasko.
The Marimekko Group's net sales and comparable operating profit for 2017 are forecast to be at the same level as in the previous year. Finland, Marimekko’s important domestic market, accounts for about half of the company’s net sales. There are signs of a more positive vibe for retailing, and the trend is forecast to be moderate. Nonrecurring promotional deliveries had a positive impact on the company's sales in 2016, but no similarly large deliveries are in sight for 2017. Marimekko's sales in Finland, excluding income from nonrecurring promotional deliveries, are expected to be roughly on a par with the previous year.
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. In Australia, prospects are expected to continue to be positive.
In 2017, the main thrust in expansion will continue to be on openings of retailer-owned Marimekko stores. The aim is to open around 10-20 new Marimekko stores and shop-in-shops. The majority of the new stores will be shop-in-shops. Furthermore, the company will continue the enhancement of the operations of Marimekko stores opened in recent years. The company’s own e-commerce and other online sales channels are forecast to continue to grow. (KD)
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