The strong Swiss franc undermined sales at Mammut Sports Group last year as European customers flocked to less expensive products.

Sales at the outdoor sporting goods company fell by 4.7 percent to CHF 210.8 million ($239mm) from CHF 221.2 million in 2010. After adjustments to account for the sale of the Toko (ski wax) business in 2010, the purchase of Snowpulse (avalanche air bags) in 2011, and currency effects, growth amounted to 4.1 percent.

The company said while the warm, dry start to winter curbed demand for winter products across Europe, the strength of the Swiss franc caused customers in Switzerland “to stock up in neighboring Eurozone countries or buy products from abroad now available in the Swiss market at cheaper prices.” The Swiss franc appreciated 3.8 percent against the euro in 2011 and 3.4 percent against the U.S. dollar. Mammut responded with price reductions.

In Germany, by contrast, Mammut reported double-digit growth in local currencies. Germany is Mammut’s strongest market and the largest in Europe for outdoor products. Mammut sales also grew strongly in South Korea and Japan, where more monobranded Mammut stores opened.
Conzetta, a Swiss holding company that owns Mammut and derived 60 percent of its $1.3 billion in revenue last year from engineering and heavy industry, does not report income for its individual companies.


Mammut also opened new  stores in Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
Conzetta it said expects the economic environment will be difficult in 2012, due particularly to unresolved currency and financial problems in Europe. The company said it started the year with order books flat with levels of a year earlier. It expects growth in Eastern Europe, America and Asia.

“Any further worsening of the debt crisis could lead to an immediate response on the part of customers in the form of a marked decline in demand,” Conzetta said in its earnings release.