Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ sports division, which includes Dunlop, Srixon and XXIO, saw its revenues fall by 9 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 to ¥20.5 billion (€160.3-$195.8m). The segment’s operating profit reached ¥1.1 billion (€8.6m-$10.7m), down from a profit of ¥2.0 billion last year. Golf and tennis sales picked up pace in the U.S. and Europe, but the club management business was hampered by the closure of sports clubs in Japan. For the full year, revenues declined by 17 percent to ¥70.3 billion (€549.6m-666.7m), leading to an operating loss of ¥0.7 billion (€5.5m-$6.6m), against a profit of ¥4.3 billion in 2019. The figures are not quite comparable, due in part to the pandemic and a major change in distribution. As already reported, Babolat, which is the biggest player in the Japanese tennis market, set up a new Japanese sales subsidiary in Japan in July last year, taking over the distribution from Sumitomo; which continues to be the supplier of the French brand’s tennis balls. For the whole Sumitomo group, sales advanced by 11.5 percent to ¥790.8 billion (€6.2bn-$7.5bn), while net income jumped by 87.2 percent to ¥22.6 billion (€176.7m-$214.3m). The management forecasts a 19 percent increase in sports revenues this year to ¥83.5 billion (€652.9m-$791.8m).