Interim Report, 10 May 2017
“Our net sales and earnings for the first quarter of 2017 grew as expected.
“Net sales rose by 7 percent. 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. Sales in Finland grew by 17 percent. 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.
“I am pleased that the overall state of the retail market in Finland is at last showing signs of improvement and that trade has gone into an upswing after several weaker years. However, the trend is forecast to be modest. On the other hand, uncertainty in the global economy does not appear to be letting up this year either, partly due to the unpredictable political situation. It can also be seen that consumers in all markets are more price-conscious than before and, especially in Finland, price sensitivity in consumers' purchasing behaviour has increased during the past few years.
“This year we are continuing our long-term development work related to the revamp of our collections and our brand. To seek markedly stronger growth in the future, we have set out to enhance the commercial viability of our collections, building on Marimekko’s original, positive and colourful design philosophy. In the early months of the year, we have focused on delineating the frameworks of our product range strategy especially for the ready-to-wear line. I am confident that we are on the right track and that the work we are doing will improve our opportunities to respond to the needs of our international customer base even better than before.
“Digitisation has for years been one of the most important phenomena transforming our sector. We see it as a great opportunity to our internationalising Marimekko for boosting both our products' availability and our brand profile. We expect our own webstore and other online sales channels to continue to grow. In January, we extended our e-commerce to 16 new countries; today it operates in 29 countries. The development of online business and multi-channel distribution plays a very important role for us this year as well.
“We will unwaveringly continue the long-term development of the company by which we seek profitable growth and enhanced competitiveness.”