Thule’s first quarter update talked about two new product categories slated for launch in May, while talking about investments helping the company bring inventory levels back to normal, despite new challenges.
“As previously announced, we are investing significant resources to further expand our production capacity to meet the substantial increase in sales. We are pleased with the progress of the projects, despite longer lead times for everything from construction materials to automation equipment,” said CEO Magnus Weylander, adding, “With the increased capacity, we have been able to respond better to the increased demand during the fall and beginning of the year. We therefore estimate that retail inventory levels are back to similar pre-peak balanced levels as before the pandemic. »
Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic and Spain led trade in the northern quarter, while further south Australia, New Zealand and South Africa recorded strong performances for the group. Meanwhile, the Americas stood out, producing growth of 27% in the quarter after currency adjustment compared to a strong first quarter a year earlier.
“We made progress in all four product categories and in all markets in the region, and where Canada particularly excelled,” Weylander said.
Net sales for the quarter were SEK 3,034 million (£245 million), an increase of 19.5%. Adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations, sales increased by 13.4%. Operating profit was SEK 692 million (£55.9 million), with a margin of 22.8%.
The results were challenged by a range of factors affecting the global industry, namely Thule’s gross revenue was impacted by higher costs for
materials and freight. At the same time, the increase in sickness-related absences has affected the workforce enough to be mentioned in the update.
The quarter also marked the second branded store opening in North America, this time in West Vancouver, Canada. The first opened in Denver in June 2021 and adds to the own brand store presences already in place in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The new product categories will be unveiled at Financial Markets Day in Hillerstorp, Sweden on Wednesday, May 11. Thule will also showcase its modernized roof rack factory, newly opened Global Development Center and finally its expanded Test Center.