Interim Report 1–9/2021, 3 November 2021
“Both our net sales and result continued to grow in the third quarter.
Marimekko’s business performance was again strong in the third quarter. Our net sales increased by 11 percent and amounted to EUR 42.4 million (38.0). Wholesale sales in Finland developed particularly well, supported by non-recurring promotional deliveries. The majority of Marimekko’s own stores were open, as was the case in the comparison period. Our omnichannel retail sales increased by 3 percent and our wholesale sales grew by 23 percent. Our comparable operating profit in July–September improved by 26 percent and amounted to EUR 13.3 million (10.5), representing 31.3 percent of net sales (27.7).
Our result was improved particularly by the growth of net sales but also by stronger relative sales margin. On the other hand, an increase in fixed costs had a weakening impact on earnings. We estimate that our fixed costs will increase clearly also during the fourth quarter following changes in accounting principles and investments in growth.
Our long-term work to develop the Marimekko brand is one of the reasons behind our strong performance. The results of this work and the modernization of our collections are naturally seen the fastest in our strong home market in Finland, where our net sales increased by 25 percent in the third quarter. It is important for us to look after our brand image globally. To that end, we have worked for several years to control gray exports, which is a challenge faced by many internationalizing brands. In the past quarter, such actions taken by us had a negative effect on our international sales, which declined by 10 percent in the period under review. In the January–September period, our net sales increased by 21 percent and amounted to EUR 104.2 million (86.2). Compared to the time pre-pandemic, i.e. the corresponding period in 2019, the rate of growth was 15 percent. Sales grew by 29 percent in Finland and by 11 percent internationally. Our comparable operating profit for the nine-month period increased to EUR 24.4 million (14.4), representing 23.4 percent of net sales (16.7). With the uncertainties related to the coronavirus situation concerning the rest of the year being reduced from previously expected, we specified our estimate of profitability development for the full year in September. We now expect our comparable operating profit margin in 2021 to be higher than in the previous year.
We are working resolutely to strengthen the building blocks for our long-term international growth by further developing areas such as sustainability and brand awareness. In September, together with adidas, a global leader in the sporting goods industry, we announced our second limited-edition sports apparel collaboration collection. We are very pleased to reunite again with adidas. The adidas x Marimekko capsule collection embraces both brands’ commitment to sustainability, originality and empowerment. These kinds of brand collaborations provide us with an excellent opportunity to introduce our brand to a global audience while strengthening our core business by increasing our brand awareness.
Marimekko’s visibility was also increased for example in Japan by a pop-up store at the famous Dover Street Market in Tokyo’s Ginza district, which featured our Co-created special collection, and an experiential pop-up concept created in partnership with Japan’s largest bookstore, Tsutaya, to celebrate the 70-year-old Marimekko brand. The concept was expanded to four other cities in October. The special auction we organized with the auction house Bukowskis in the Nordic region to celebrate our 70th anniversary, and the Marimekko Pre-loved second-hand pilot in our online store featuring a carefully curated collection of vintage Marimekko pieces, were ways to honor our timeless and sustainable design and provided practical solutions to extending the lifespan of Marimekko products. In September, we also put an array of vintage pieces on sale at Marimekko Kreative, the experiential space we launched in Copenhagen in August. It is important for us to continuously find new ways to bring joy to our customers’ lives and thereby ensure that our brand remains interesting and meaningful to both new audiences as well as our existing loyal customers.”