Marimekko buoyant as sales and profits rise, but pandemic uncertainty remains
Marimekko’s latest results for the nine months to the end of September showed that the firm’s sales and profits are continuing to rise.
Net sales grew by 21% to €104.2 million for the period, although the rate of growth slowed somewhat in Q3. For the latest three months, net sales were up 11% to €42.4 million, but this is perhaps unsurprising given that the first half enjoyed easier comparisons due to 2020’s first half having marked the onset of the pandemic.
The company said the majority of its own stores were open in the third quarter and in Finland, quarterly net sales rose by as much as 25%. But its actions to control grey-market exports dented international sales, which were down by 10%.
Net sales were boosted largely by “a favourable trend in wholesale sales in Finland” and were supported by non-recurring promotional deliveries. But it saw lower wholesale sales in EMEA, resulting from those grey export control activities, and lower licensing income in the Asia-Pacific region.
But despite this, and despite higher fixed costs, operating profit still managed to improve significantly, reaching €13.3 million after €10.5 million a year earlier.
CEO Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko said that the firm’s “long-term work to develop the Marimekko brand is one of the reasons behind our strong performance. We are working resolutely to strengthen the building blocks for our long-term international growth by further developing areas such as sustainability and brand awareness”.
That work included a second limited-edition sports apparel collaboration collection with Adidas recently. And the label’s visibility was also increased in Japan by a pop-up store at Dover Street Market in Tokyo’s Ginza district, which featured a co-created special collection.
But the company said the instability caused by the pandemic in its markets continues and there are still “significant uncertainties associated with the trend in net sales and earnings due to the pandemic situation”.
Yet even though the firm described Covid as “the worst crisis experienced by the global fashion industry and specialty retail sector in decades”, and despite expectations that its impact will continue to be felt, the business is reasonably confident for the future.
It estimates that both wholesale and retail sales will increase in 2021 as a whole with wholesale especially buoyant.
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