Originally a tobacco company owning 75% of the domestic cigarette market, the Finish group Amer Sports began its emblematic transformation at the end of the 20th century.
Sport as a core business, external growth as a strategic driver
In 2003, the company sold its tobacco business to focus exclusively on sport, through a series of strategic takeovers. In this process, Amer Sports bought prestigious brands including Wilson, Suunto, Atomic, Precor and Salomon. These takeovers often came with demanding but well executed restructuring plans - the objective being to achieve 10% margins in each of the brands.
The group now enjoys a particularly balanced product portfolio, which has led Amer Sports to revise its guidance for its annual organic growth
The group now enjoys a particularly balanced product portfolio, which has led Amer Sports to revise its guidance for its annual organic growth to 6-7% last September. The company now targets a €3.5 billion turnover for 2020.
An ambitious innovation policy
To achieve this, the group has historically relied on high-performance marketing – which accounts for 8% of the workforce - and on an ambitious innovation policy (8.3% of operating expenses spent on R&D in 2015). Innovation was further strengthened in 2015 following the appointment of a Chief Digital Officer to the Executive Committee, with a view to spurring on the development of connected services and tools.
Finally, bearing in mind that managing logistics is a real challenge for the industry – some will remember the hitches in the early 2000s and their heavy consequences for groups such as Nike and Adidas – the group is particularly proactive in this area. It has set up a thorough and responsible procurement policy, with 98% of purchases sourced from audited suppliers.
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