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Spotlight on… Amer Sports

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Following a major strategic turn, switching its core business from tobacco to sport, the Finish group Amer Sports expanded through takeovers of prestigious brands, alongside necessary restructuring plans. A strategy turning out to be lucrative… Explanations.

Alban Préaubert

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.

This publication is not intended to be an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument whatsoever. References to specific securities and issuers are for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these values. Communication promotional in nature. This communication has not been prepared in accordance with regulations to promote the independence of financial analysis. Sycomore Asset Management or management companies involved with the preparation of this document are not subject to the ban on conducting transactions on the instruments mentioned by the publication of this communication.

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