Skechers growing in strength in Europe
Skechers saw a good start to the year. The American footwear group last week revealed a 40.5 growth in its net sales for the first quarter, amounting to 768 million dollars.
Its operating income jumped 48.2 million dollars in 2014 to 88.2 million in 2015, with an operating margin increasing from 8.8% to 11.5%. Net earnings in the first quarter of 2015 were 56.1 million compared to net earnings of 31.0 million for the first quarter of 2014.
The group pointed out that the increase in its growth applies both nationally and internationally (+59%). In the long term, Skechers is counting on a balance of the two.
David Weinberg, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, commented: "We achieved this growth despite significant headwinds, which included the strengthening U.S. dollar, unseasonably cold weather in many markets, and the slowdown at the West Coast ports. Further, our European Distribution Center was operating less efficiently than we had originally anticipated due to the transition to a new automation system combined with stronger than expected sales in the region. Additionally, to manage the increased demand and shipments, we are expanding our European Distribution Center by over 500,000 square feet, increasing it to more than one million square feet by the first quarter 2016."
Skechers has indeed seen impressive growth in Europe, with no sign of it slowing down. In France, its team said it saw sales increase 30% in 2014 compared to 2013. And even though the brand saw a few delays in delivery last year, it expects to cross the one million pairs of shoes delivered mark in 2015. The group also opened a subsidiary for Eastern Europe last year. The management board of Skechers seems confident in its potential for Europe.
The group is also strengthening its direct sales activity. For the quarter, its comparable sales increased by 9%. The group opened 39 stores in the first three months of 2015. At the end of the quarter it had 1,063 around the world, including 610 internationally. By the end of 2015 it expects the first number to increase to 1,250 stores.
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