Marimekko‘s third quarter results on Wednesday saw it reporting net sales up 9% to €47.9 million as it enjoyed strong growth in wholesale both internationally and in its domestic market, Finland. Wholesale was up as much as 17%.
Overall, net sales in Finland from July to September grew 6% as non-recurring promotional deliveries boosted domestic wholesale and retail sales were good (but didn’t quite reach the tough-to-replicate record-high level of the comparison period). Meanwhile international sales grew 13%.
That all resulted in operating profit of €12.9 million, up from €11.1 million a year ago while comparable operating profit rose to €13.1 million from the aforementioned €11.1 million.
Operating profit was boosted particularly by those increased net sales but also by the improved relative sales margin, although an increase in fixed costs had a negative impact on the figures too.
The company is in the early stages of a 2023-2027 strategy period in which it’s focusing on scaling up its business and growth in international markets in particular, with a spotlight on key cities.
Its aim is to “build an omnichannel ecosystem and a strong local Marimekko community” in those cities, “which will enable us to reach consumers in their preferred channels and at important moments”. This strategy continued in Q3 and it strengthened its position particularly in Asia and Scandinavia.
For instance, in August, at Copenhagen Fashion Week, it presented its SS24 collection, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of its key print design Unikko. The open-for-all outdoor fashion show in the inner courtyard of Designmuseum Danmark saw a large group of “friends of Marimekko, media representatives and industry professionals” attending and got plenty of publicity.
Then in September, it opened its redesigned Stockholm flagship store, “which represents our newest, dynamic store concept”, followed by the opening of a Copenhagen flagship store. These stores “are strategic investments that play an important role in building Marimekko’s brand awareness and positioning, as well as increasing omnichannel sales in Scandinavia”.
But its most important geographical area for international growth during the strategy period is Asia.
It said that “growing markets, strong brand fit and the proven track record with the loose franchise partnership model create a good foundation for accelerating Marimekko’s omnichannel growth in Asia, where six Marimekko stores were already opened in the first half of the year”.
In Q3, nine new partner-owned Marimekko stores were opened in various locations. Three of the stores are located in Singapore and Vietnam, which are new markets for the brand. In addition, the first Marimekko store in Malaysia was opened after the review period.
The company said that “Singapore is an important global metropolis in South East Asia, and the brand’s presence there has a wider impact in Asia, [while] Vietnam and Malaysia, in turn, are rapidly growing markets, and we believe that this is the right time to enter these markets offering interesting growth opportunities”.
Overall net sales for 2023 “are expected to grow from the previous year, with the comparable operating profit margin estimated to be 16-19% compared to 18.2 a year ago.
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