Descente raised its guidance for full year profits and maintained its outlook for sales after staging a strong recovery in the top and bottom lines in the first quarter ended June 30. As sporting events resumed, the Japanese sportswear company’s sales increased in the quarter by 44.5 percent to ¥22,481 million (€173.5m-$203.5m) compared to the year earlier, when the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic reached a peak.

The group’s revenues in Japan increased by 92 percent to ¥9,767 million (€75.4m-$88.4m), led by growth in the Descente and Le Coq Sportif brands and supported by a decline in product discounts and returns and a 176 percent increase in the golf category. Sales in South Korea increased to ¥11,737 million (€90.6m-$106.3m) from ¥9,375 million the year earlier, driven by Descente and other outerwear. Revenues from the company’s joint venture with Anta in China rose to ¥975 million (€7.5m-$8.8m), roughly ¥90 million above the previous year, as sales of the Descente brand in the country nearly tripled.

Sales of Umbro products returned to 2019 levels, but Descente, Le Coq and Arena were lower than in the corresponding period of two years ago.

Revenues from athletic wear increased by 31 percent to ¥14,289 million (€110.3m-$129.4m) year-on-year, with a strong improvement for the Arena brand, which had suffered from the closure of swimming pools during the previous fiscal year. Golfwear sales went up by 75 percent to ¥6,638 million (€51.2m-$60.1m) amid the growing popularity of golf in both Japan and South Korea. Sales of outdoor apparel went up by 83 percent to ¥848 million (€6.5m-$7.7m).

Descente’s gross margin expanded by five full percentage points to 59.0 percent, leading to first-quarter operating income of ¥1,032 million (€8.0m-$9.3m) against a loss of ¥3,159 million the year earlier. The company reported a net profit of ¥1,113 million (€8.6m-$10.1m) versus a loss of ¥2,018 million.

The company is now guiding for operating income of ¥4,250 million (€32.8m-$38.5m) for the fiscal year ending next March 31, compared to previous guidance of ¥3,100 million, as a result of an improving gross profit margin and continuing efforts to reduce selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses.

Descente also now anticipates net profit of ¥5,000 million (€38.6m-$45.3m) for the full year, up from ¥3,000 million previously. It still foresees full-year sales of ¥103 billion (€794.0m-$932.6m), with growth in all geographical segments, led by the Descente brand.