As previously reported, the Conzzeta Group plans to divest its Outdoor division, which essentially consists of the Mammut Sports Group. Addressing financial analysts, the Swiss group’s management pointed out, however, that it is under no pressure to sell it at just any price because of the current economic uncertainty.

For the time being, Conzzeta plans to have all documents ready for the collection of expressions of interest from prospective investors by May or June, with a view to holding negotiations with them in the second half of 2020.

Last year, the group’s Outdoor division improved its operating margin (Ebit) to 2.8 percent from 2.1 percent in the prior year as its revenues went up by 5.9 percent to 268.4 million Swiss francs (€254.4m-$279.1m), rising by 6.8 percent in local currencies. Sales increased in Europe as well as the Americas and Asia.

The gross margin improved further thanks to the introduction of innovative products with a consistent pricing strategy and a reduction in the number of styles being offered.

This performance was particularly good considering the fact that the division suffered lower sales and earnings in the third quarter because of poor deliveries to clients. This was attributed to the processing of defective textiles by an unnamed supplier and internal difficulties in offering a largely renewed collection across an enlarged number of sales channels. Mammut’s online store was available in 19 countries by the end of last year.

Conzzeta pointed out that Mammut made progress in “linking consumer-relevant content with commercial offers.” By the end of 2019, 120 products were fitted with the “Mammut Connect” app, which allows customers to access comprehensive product information through NFC technology, to use additional services and to be a member of a digital social community.

The Outdoor division performed better last year in terms of revenues than Conzzeta’s two other remaining divisions, which are involved in sheet metal processing and chemical specialties. As a result the group’s total revenues declined by 11.7 percent to CHF 1,573.2 million (€1,491.1m-$1,636.5m), with a drop of 4.9 percent on a comparable basis after adjusting for the sale of its glass processing segment, which went with a capital gain of CHF 29.9 million (€28.3m-$31.1 m).

The group’s adjusted Ebit margin rose by 0.5 percentage points to 8.7 percent and its net income grew by 19.2 percent to CHF 136.8 million (€129.7m-$142.4m ).