Amer Sports plans to grow sales of Connected Devices & Services to €600 million by 2020 by connecting everything from Salomon shoes, Precor elliptical trainers, Wilson basketballs and Suunto sports watches into a digital ecosytsem that will help customer track and manage their fitness.  

The Finnish company said it is already working at an accelerated pace to bring many of those products to market. The initiative emerged as the newest pillar in a five-year growth plan laid out by executives at the company's annual investor conference Thursday.

Acquisitions to resume

That plan calls for Amer Sports to grow its U.S. sales by 50 percent to $1.5 billion and total sales by at least €900 million to €3.5 billion by 2020.

The new  financial targets call for annual sales growth of about 5 percent a year and maintain an EBIT margin of 10 percent. That anticipates organic and currency-neutral sales will grow in the single-digits annually and that Amer Sports will become more active making strategic acquisitions.

Other targets include growing Apparel and Footwear sales by 50 percent to €1.5 billion, doubling China sales to €200 million and doubling B2C sales to €400 million by opening 20 stores a year and growing its e-commerce business. 

No longer a turn-around company

President and CEO Heikki Takala said the company's progress in turning around the company since 2009 gave him confidence in the new targets. During that period, Amer Sports has grown its Apparel and Footwear sales three fold to nearly €1 billion, improved the gross  margin of its Winter Sports Equipment business 600 basis points and grown its U.S. sales from $700 million to $1 billion.

Sales have quadrupled at Arc'teryx and doubled at Salomon, Suunto and Precor. More importantly, Suunto and Precor have gone from negative earnings before income taxes (EBIT) to EBIT margins of about 10 percent, while Wilson Team Sports has increased its EBIT margin from the low single digits to about 10 percent.

“We are no longer a turn-around company,” proclaimed Takala. “However, we treat any under  performing unit as such.”