From the President & CEO

Interim Report 1–3/2023, 16 May 2023

“In the first quarter, our business developed as estimated. Our strong financial position enables investments in long-term growth.

Marimekko’s net sales for the first quarter decreased by two percent when compared to the record-high level in the same period the previous year and amounted to EUR 35.3 million (36.0). As estimated, net sales decreased due to a decline in domestic wholesale sales, which was caused by weaker general consumer demand in Finland, as well as lower licensing income in the EMEA region. Nevertheless, the strong appeal of our brand was demonstrated by the continued positive development of the domestic retail sales, with growth of 12 percent. Globally our omnichannel retail sales increased by nine percent. While international wholesale sales grew by eight percent, our total wholesale sales decreased by four percent due to the decline in domestic wholesale sales. Net sales in Finland decreased by three percent for the same reason. International net sales were almost on a part with the comparison period. In spite of this anticipated fluctuation between quarters, we expect our full-year net sales to grow both in Finland and internationally. 

Our comparable operating profit in the January–March period totaled EUR 3.8 million (6.6), representing 10.9 percent of net sales (18.4). As expected, our operating profit in the first quarter was affected particularly by reduced licensing income, which weakened the relative sales margin, and by higher fixed expenses. Fixed costs were increased particularly by higher personnel costs in stores to support the growth of retail sales, and investments in the building blocks of international growth. As a profitable company, we are in a position to continue to make investments that strengthen our competitiveness and support our long-term growth despite the weaker general economic situation. 

At Marimekko, we have started a new strategy period from the beginning of this year. During this strategy period, our focus will be on scaling our business and growth, especially in the international markets. During the coming years, we will focus on Asia as the most important geographical area for our international growth. This means, for example, that we will continue to develop our omnichannel retail network in these markets. In the first quarter, two new Marimekko stores were opened in Beijing, China. We also expanded our e-commerce activities in China to another online sales platform. In addition, two pop-up stores in Japan and one in Taiwan were opened. Inspiring stores and creative retail concepts play an important role not only as distribution channels but also as the hearts of our brand culture that build awareness, deepen the customer experience and support sales also in other channels. In Thailand, a Marimekko fashion show for Spring/Summer 2023 collection was organized, and the successful outdoor event gathered a large group of Marimekko fans, press and influencers. In the first quarter, net sales in the strategically important Asia-Pacific region grew by 16 percent even with the comparison period being boosted by some of the wholesale deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2021 being transferred to the first quarter of 2022.

Various brand collaborations hold an important role in increasing our international brand awareness. In March, IKEA stores worldwide launched BASTUA, a limited-edition collection that combines Nordic design, sauna culture and wellbeing. The collaboration collection was enthusiastically received. Later in March, we launched a new collaboration collection that combines Marimekko’s art of printmaking with adidas’ wide-ranging expertise in sports clothing, footwear and apparel. The collection delighted customers around the world.  

The winning brands and companies of the future will be determined in challenging market conditions. We will continue to decisively shape Marimekko’s future by building on and reinforcing the recipe for success that has proved its effectiveness over the past few years. This way, we will bring joy and optimism to the constantly growing audiences that appreciate Marimekko’s original and timeless design.”

 Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko