Exel reported nine month year-to-date sales and earnings results and, at the same time announced the opening of a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary based in Georgia, VT. The new operation will support Exel’s existing cross-country ski business and serve as the North American headquarters for other Nordic fitness concepts including Nordic walking and Nordic blading.

Sales from January-September continued their strong increase and totaled €64.1 million ($78.6 mm), an increase of 57.1%. The Industry division’s net sales increased by 81.6% to €36.7 million ($45.0 mm), while the Sport division, which includes cross country skiing, nordic fitness, and wind-surfing masts, posted sales of €27.4 million ($33.6 mm), an increase of 33.7% compared to €20.5 million ($22.8 mm) last year.

Operating profit from January-September continued to grow substantially, totaling €10.0 million ($12.3 mm), a growth of 159% over the same nine-month period last year. The Sport Division’s operating profit was €4.4 million ($5.4 mm), an increase of 158.8% compared to €1.7 million ($2.1 mm) last year.

Strong sales growth continued in the third quarter, with sales of €20.4 million ($24.9 mm), up 38% over last year. A substantial proportion of the third quarter’s sales consisted of ‘conventional product categories’ such as cross-country ski poles.

Company management said in their interim report that the Nordic walking market in German-speaking Central Europe continued its growth in the third quarter.

The new U.S. Subsidiary will be replacing the existing distribution agreement with Karhu. BOSS spoke with Tracy Ferland, Exel’s sales and marketing manager for North America, who said that the company will be keeping all of its existing sales reps in both winter sports and Nordic walking.

The new agreement, according to Ferland, will also allow Exel to be more competitive from a price standpoint with many of their cross-country products. Internationally, the company is also looking at production possibilities in the far-east, which should allow even more flexibility in prices and margins.