The Thule Group has reported currency-adjusted growth of 52% for the third quarter of 2020.
This means the group has achieved a currency-adjusted sales increase of 7% for the first nine months of the year, said CEO and president Magnus Welander. Net sales for the quarter amounted to SEK 2,436 million, an increase of 44.9%.
“The growth during the quarter confirms our capacity to manage large fluctuations in demand flexibly and efficiently,” said Welander. “Driven by the strong sales growth, a favourable gross margin and an efficient organisation, we delivered an underlying EBIT margin of 24.5% (16.3) for the quarter. Cash flow was also strong for the quarter at SEK 764 million (571).
“As I communicated in connection with the second-quarter report, we hoped to be able to recover the lost spring season during the summer and to continue to ride the strong global bike trend that commenced during June. This was precisely what happened during the third quarter.
“The strong profitability during the quarter also enabled us to reach an EBIT-margin of 19.1% for the trailing 12-month period. This is in line with where we would have expected to be by the end of this year, prior to the situation in the spring.”
In Europe and ROW, sales rose by 59% after currency adjustment, meaning the group posted a growth of 9% after nine months. As was the case at the end of the second quarter, the trend in the third quarter was “highly positive” in all European markets, said Welander.
“Our broad and market-leading portfolio of products in the bike category (bike racks, bike trailers and child bike seats), gained strong traction from a very positive bike trend. In addition, we also saw within our other products for car transport how the spring lockdown led to a pent-up demand for our products during the summer.”
In the Americas, sales rose by 36% in the quarter after currency adjustment and sales growth was 1% for the first nine months of the year. As in Europe, the growth was mainly driven by demand for bicycle products. Stroller sales were “highly positive”, as were sales of rooftop tents, but bag sales were “weaker than in the preceding year”.
“From a short-term view, several challenges remain, including uncertainty regarding the scope of new market lockdowns in a number of countries,” added Welander. “We believe that the strong trend in activities close to the home will continue in the bike and RV sectors, but it is worth noting that, for the fourth quarter, we have greater seasonal exposure to categories that have been negatively affected by the market realities during the pandemic to date.”
“The positive developments in recent months have made us even more secure in the underlying market trends that are positive for us and, therefore, our long-term focus on offering fantastic products for people who want to be active. In line with this, we will continue with our ambitious plans with major investments in product development and our production and distribution structure in the next year.”
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