Interim Report, 9 May 2018
Factors of uncertainty over the global economic trend affect the retail trade and consumer confidence in all of the company’s market areas. The company’s major strategic risks are associated with changes in consumers’ purchasing behaviour and buying power, especially in Finland and Japan, which are the company’s biggest single countries for business.
Near-term strategic risks include risks related to changes in the company’s design, product assortment and product pricing. Digitisation in retail trade and the intensified competition and rapidly changing operating environment that this entails also bring risks. The company’s ability to design, develop and commercialise new products that meet consumers’ expectations while ensuring effective production, sourcing and logistics has an impact on the company’s sales and profitability. International e-commerce increases the options available to consumers and multichannel business is of growing importance in the retail trade. Maintaining competitiveness in a rapidly changing operating environment being revolutionised by digitisation demands agility, efficiency and the constant re-evaluation of operations.
The company’s growth is based primarily on opening retailer-owned Marimekko stores and shop-in-shops and expanding e-commerce as well as setting up company-owned stores and concession shop-in-shops in the company’s main market areas. The Asia-Pacific region is Marimekko’s second-biggest market, and it plays an important role in the company’s growth and internationalisation. Changes in distribution channel solutions may impact the company’s sales and profitability. Major partnership choices, partnering contracts and other collaboration agreements involve considerable risks. Store lease agreements in Finland and abroad also contain risks.
Intellectual property rights play a vital role in the company’s success, and the company’s ability to manage these rights may have an impact on the value and reputation of the company. Agreements with freelance designers and fees paid to designers based on these agreements are also an essential part of the management of intellectual property rights.
The company’s operational risks prominently include those related to the management and success of modernisation and internationalisation, changes in procurement and logistics processes, and changes in the prices of raw materials and other procurement items. Information system functionality and reliability also involve risks; malfunctions, for example in data communications or in the company’s own online store, can disrupt business momentarily. The company primarily uses subcontractors to manufacture its products. Of the sustainability aspects of manufacturing, those related to the supply chain and enhancing its transparency, in particular, are of growing significance to customers. Compliance with sustainable business methods is important in maintaining customers’ confidence; any failures or errors in this area will involve reputation risks. Any delays or disturbances in supply, or fluctuations in the quality of products, may have a harmful impact on business. As product distribution is expanded and operations are diversified, risks associated with inventory management also grow. As Marimekko is a small company, ongoing modernisation and development projects increase risks related to key personnel.
Among the company’s financial risks, those related to the structure of sales, price trends for factors of production, changes in cost structure, changes in exchange rates (particularly the US dollar, Swedish krona and Australian dollar), taxation, and customers’ liquidity may have an impact on the company’s financial status.