Financial guidance for 2021 (Financial Statements Bulletin 2020, 18 February 2021)
The Marimekko Group’s net sales for 2021 are expected to be higher than in the previous year. Comparable operating profit margin is estimated to be approximately on a par with the long-term goal of 15 percent.
However, the instability caused by the coronavirus pandemic in Marimekko’s markets continues, and therefore there are significant uncertainties associated with the trend in net sales and earnings. These uncertainties are described in the Risks section.
Market outlook and growth targets in 2021 (Financial Statements Bulletin 2020, 18 February 2021)
The coronavirus pandemic has created the worst crisis experienced by the global fashion industry and specialty retail sector in decades, and it will heavily impact the sector in 2021 as well. It has taken uncertainty over the global economy to a completely new level and is changing consumers’ purchasing behavior. The exceptional circumstances can have an impact on Marimekko’s sales, profitability and cash flow. Furthermore, the global crisis may affect the operational reliability of the company’s value chain. The duration of the pandemic, new infection waves and virus variants as well as the way the crisis is handled by different countries influence the depth of the economic recession in different markets.
Finland, Marimekko’s important domestic market, traditionally represents about half of the company’s net sales. Sales in Finland are expected to grow on the previous year. Domestic wholesale sales in 2021 will be boosted by nonrecurring promotional deliveries, the total value of which is estimated to be substantially higher than the year before. A vast majority of the deliveries will take place in the second half of the year.
The Asia-Pacific region is Marimekko’s second-largest market and it plays a significant part in the company’s international growth. Japan is clearly the most important country in this region to Marimekko and already has a very comprehensive network of Marimekko stores. The other Asian countries’ combined share of the company’s net sales is still noticeably smaller, but operations in these countries are constantly growing. All Marimekko stores in Asia are partner-owned. Net sales in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to increase in 2021. The aim is to open approximately 5 to 10 new Marimekko stores and shop-in-shops in 2021, and most of the planned openings will be in Asia.
Both the company’s own and its Asian partners’ omnichannel Marimekko retail is the key driver of Marimekko’s growth. Nonrecurring promotional wholesale deliveries in Finland are also estimated to have a significant impact on the company’s growth in 2021, and they can increase Marimekko’s inventory risks. The development of the coronavirus situation and possible tightening restrictions in different market areas as well as changes in customer numbers in stores influence the outlook for both retail and wholesale, including nonrecurring promotions. Rapid fluctuations in demand due to the pandemic can have an impact, for example, on the availability of products and consequently on net sales. Net sales and earnings also essentially depend on maintaining the operational reliability of distribution centers and logistics in the exceptional situation. Marimekko will continue actions to control gray exports, which will have a clear weakening impact on the company’s sales and earnings in 2021. Licensing income is forecast to be lower than in the previous year.
Marimekko plans to accelerate international growth in 2021 and to invest especially in digital business, seamless omnichannel customer experience, sustainability and brand awareness. Fixed costs are expected to be up on the previous year. In 2020, fixed costs were reduced by partly temporary cost savings as well as subsidies granted in different countries to mitigate the negative business impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Marketing expenses are expected to grow (2020: EUR 5.3 million). Total investments are also estimated to increase (2020: EUR 2.1 million). Most of the investments will be devoted to IT systems in order to strengthen the company’s digital business. The estimated effects of the long-term bonus system targeted at the company’s Management Group will depend on the trend in the price of the company’s share during the year.
The instability caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues. Marimekko is closely monitoring the development of the pandemic situation in each of its market areas and will adjust its operations and plans according to the situation.
Because of the seasonal nature of Marimekko’s business, the major portion of the company’s net sales and earnings are generated during the last two quarters of the year.