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Thule keeps focus on outdoor and bag products, sales up 3% in 3Q

Published November 4, 2015

STOCKHOLM (BRAIN) — Thule Group will continue to focus on its Outdoor & Bags division, despite some softness in sales of its electronics and camera bags in the Swedish company's most recent quarter.

Thule has sold off its winter tire chains division in an effort to focus on its outdoor products and bags, which now include technical backpacks and bike bags as well as auto racks, trailers and strollers.

Excluding currency effects, the company recorded a 3 percent net sales increase in its third quarter, recording sales of 1.3 billion SEK ($150 million). For the first three quarters, Thule sales are up 5.6 percent once currency fluctuations are accounted for.

"During the quarter, we achieved a general positive product mix trend with a larger proportion of sales in the higher price segments and a lower share of sales for the bags for electronic devices category," said CEO and president Magnus Welander.

"Europe remains strong in Outdoor & Bags. During the quarter, we continued to drive sales growth within sport and outdoor products in both regions. The growth was driven by several successful product launches, in categories where we have long-term leading market positions, such as bike carriers, as well as in our newer categories (for example, child strollers and backpacks)," he said.

"In the U.S. we continued, however, to be impacted by a strong negative trend in bags for electronic devices, primarily in camera bag sales, affected by the decline in camera sales. In addition, we have also lost shelf space at some of the larger U.S. retail chains in electronics and office supplies. We are continuing to work intensively with new product launches, in parallel with the cost-saving program we presented in the second quarter, to turn around the trend for this category."

Thule opened a new global test center in Hillerstorp, Sweden, during the quarter. Thule Group is a public company listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.

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