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Thule Group shows overall sales increase despite decline in US

Published February 12, 2020

STOCKHOLM (BRAIN) — Thule Group sales increased 4.7% in the fourth quarter over the same time last year and 8.5% for 2019, meeting the company's expectations despite a decrease in the U.S.

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Fourth-quarter sales increased from SEK 1,157 million ($120 million) to SEK 1,211 million ($125 million). For 2019, sales were SEK 7,038 million ($731.6 million) compared to SEK 6,484 million ($674 million) in 2018. Full-year increase was 3.9% after currency adjustment. 

Sales in Region Americas declined 5.7% after currency adjustment, during the quarter, which amounted to a decrease of 1.2% for the full year.

"The previously communicated phase-out of certain low-margin OE contracts in the U.S. had a negative impact on sales of SEK 11 million ($1.4 million) in the fourth quarter and accounted for half of the negative trend in the region," said Thule CEO and president Magnus Welander. "The full-year negative effect on sales of the now completed phase-out was SEK 50 million ($5.2 million)."

Welander said sales in the U.S. continued to disappoint and, in addition to the phase-out, were primarily affected by declining sales for simpler bags and cases. "Canada delivered its best quarter for the year with strong growth in most categories, while sales in Latin America were in line with last year," he said.

The announced reorganization in North America was completed during the quarter.

"Even if 2019 can be summed up as a somewhat average year when considering financial results, I am very happy that the company delivered growth in all four product categories," Welander said.

Underlying EBIT was SEK 71 million ($7.4 million), increasing from SEK 64 million ($6.7 million) for the quarter. For the full year, EBIT jumped to SEK 1,245 million ($129 million) from SEK 1,164 million ($121 million).

Welander noted strong sales of roof boxes, which were driven by the new Thule Vector. The company's luggage category also grew because of the launch of the Thule Crossover 2 collection.

At the end of 2019, Thule acquired Denver Outfitters, a roof rack fishing rod carrier manufacturer. 

Thule's corporate headquarters is in Stockholm. Its stock is traded on OTCMKTS under the THULE symbol. Thule stock quote at Marketwatch.com.

Thule Group sales increased 4.7% in the fourth quarter.

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