Ecco reported a slight decline in earnings in 2019. Revenues rose from 3.8 percent to €1.36 billion from €1.31 billion.
Net profits eased 0.8 percent to €147.6 million from €148.9 million. Profit before tax reached €195.8 million, down from €200.7 million.
“Our global strategy with regional and local adaptations proved successful, and not least Ecco’s growing hybrid and athleisure categories were successful”, said Ecco’s CEO Steen Borgholm in a press release.
Ecco said investments in direct-to-consumer sales continued in 2019, where net sales from retail and e-commerce combined grew by 10.9 percent. Online sales grew by 22.2 percent. Brick & mortar shops grew sales by 8.2 percent.
“We continue to position Ecco for long-term success based on a clear strategic approach to brand building and distribution in order to stay one of the world’s leading premium shoe brands,” said Borgholm.
Towards the end of 2019, Ecco entered into an agreement with Ecco’s Russian distributor through the last nearly 30 years, Ecco Ros, to take over their business in Russia and neighboring countries. Ecco’s plan with this major investment is to build on the existing strong foundation and grow sales even further, especially the fast-growing online business.
Ecco said 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade where sustainability and digitalization will be shaping the shoe industry. Ecco said it continues to invest heavily in technology to connect with and serve customers better.
“We are ready for this development, and it is already in Ecco’s DNA to conduct business in a way that minimizes the impact on the environment,” said Steen Borgholm. Ecco’s innovation efforts will continue to challenge the status quo within the leather and shoe business.
The beginning of 2020 saw the outbreak of COVID-19 with consequences which at this point in time are impossible to predict. “It clearly will have a severe impact on Ecco’s 2020 result. Right now, however, the top priority for Ecco remains the health and safety of our employees. We deeply appreciate the commitment of the people and organizations that are addressing this health emergency, and our thoughts are with all those affected,” said Borgholm.
The full annual report is here.
Photo courtesy Ecco