New Wave Group, the Swedish parent of sports brands Craft and Cutter & Buck and distributor of other labels, reported a 41 percent increase in first-quarter sales to a quarterly record 1,774.9 million Swedish kroner (€170.2m) as revenues in the Sports & Leisure segment also increased 40 percent. 

First-quarter gross margin slipped to 47.5 percent against 48.0 percent in the year-ago quarter. Operating income was up 109 percent to SEK 209.1 million (€20.1m), improving the operating margin to 11.8 percent from 7.9 percent. Net profit improved to SEK 153.5 million (€14.7m) from SEK 67.7 million.

In the quarter, Sports & Leisure total sales were SEK 746.6 million (€71.6m) with higher sales in all regions except Southern Europe, which came in flat. Sales throughout Europe, including the home Swedish market, rose 22 percent to SEK 375.7 million (€36.0m). Revenues were 67 percent higher in the U.S. at SEK 334.3 million (€32.1m) and rose 54 percent in all other countries outside Europe and the U.S. to SEK 36.6 million. Segment operating profit increased 75 percent to SEK 95.2 million (€9.1m) from SEK 54.5 million. Sales in the retail division rose 36 percent to SEK 546.3 million (€52.4m) and were 54 percent higher in the promo division at SEK 200.3 million (€19.2m).

New Wave, which recently extended its sponsorship with Hammarby Football for five more years until 2028, takes over sponsorship of the Norwegian national teams in cross-country skiing and biathlon in May.