The Russian-based Sportmaster Group says that all the financial parameters were positive last year for the Danish sporting goods retail chain by the same name, which it took over in December 2019. Declining to provide any details about the subject, it also said that Sportmaster Denmark and its management team, led by Andreas Holm, will drive the group’s expansion in the Nordic countries.

The Danish Sportmaster group saw its turnover drop to 864,771 million Danish kroner (€116.3m-$137.3m) in 2020 from DKK 1,082,060 in the prior year, but its Ebitda improved by about 70 percent, reaching its best level since 2017.

When Holm became the CEO of Sportmaster Denmark in January 2020, he had pledged to restore its profitability. However, because of the lower sales, the company ended up again with a net loss of DKK 59.8 million (€8.0m-$9.5m), down from losses of DKK 123 million in 2018 and DKK 470 million in 2019, which triggered in part the change of ownership.

The sales decline was attributed to the Covid-related closure of some large and leading shopping centers in Denmark, where the banner is strongly represented, and to a minor extent to the closure of a dozen loss-making stores. In a normal year, about two-thirds of its sales are made in shopping centers, and Sportmaster wants to have more stores at such locations in the future.

A big drop in offline revenues was partly offset by a further increase of 25 percent in online revenues, which came to represent about 25 percent of the total turnover, making the biggest contribution to the improved bottom line, and this has continued in 2021.

Sportmaster says it wants to recruit and develop the best talents in omnichannel retailing, customer service and customer retention. It wants to develop communities of sports enthusiasts, backing local competitions and tournaments as well as public health initiatives. It is already supporting more than 350 local sports clubs in Denmark.

The Russian Sportmaster Group is providing support for its Danish subsidiary financially and in terms of infrastructure, sourcing and IT.