Utenos trikotažas Group: product developments and new customers acquistion drives sales and profitability
Utenos trikotažas Group‘s consolidated comparable revenue in 2018 increased by 19,6 % to reach EUR 30,9 million. Utenos trikotažas as a Company grew comparable sales by 21,5 % to EUR 27,4 million in 2018. Revenue growth was driven by newly developed fabrics, orientation towards sustainable and flexible production practices.
„Long term investments in sustainable production processes, continuous R&D developments of new fabrics and garments enable us to continuosly acquire new customers in our target markets Scandinavia and DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Our vertically integrated business model starting with design and yarn purchase up until final ready-to-wear product proves attractive to the market. Last year approximately half of sales were generated with customers that have been acquired over the last five years and the trend is upward“, – notes Algirdas Šabūnas, CEO of Utenos trikotažas.
Comparable Group pre-tax profit reached EUR 1,2 million in 2018, three times more than last year when it stood at EUR 0,4 million. Comparable Group EBITDA stood at EUR 2,08 million or 41,2 % more than a year ago.
„Despite shortage of skilled labor and raising costs of labor putting pressure on our profitability we managed to improve bottom line results in 2018 by significantly growing sales and managing our product and customer portfolio. The dynamics of incoming orders at the beginning of 2019 looks promising to sustain growth momentum. To further strengthen our position in the markets we continue to focus on operating efficiency, acquisition of qualified employess, and nurturing of empowering culture in the Company“, – comments Algirdas Šabūnas, CEO of Utenos trikotažas.
Growth recorded across all business
Group exports were up 24 % to EUR 25,1 million in 2018. Exports accounted for 81 % of total sales.
Sales in the largest region DACH stood at EUR 13,6 million, up 25 % vs. a year ago. Sales in Scandinavia increased just marginally less by 24 %.
The growth was recorcded across all business segments. On demand jersey garments manufacturing increased by 24 % to EUR 23,7 million, functional-technical garments manufacturing services provided by the subsidiary Šatrija were up by 6,5 % to EUR 3,4 million.
The sales of own brands – UTENOS and ABOUT – posted 8 % increase to reach EUR 3,8 million. E-shop sales more than doubled last year and was the most significant growth driver for the brands segment. Retail presence of UTENOS brand at the end of 2018 expanded to 17 branded stores across Lithuania, majority operated by franchizees.
Investments into new technologies and sustainable operations
Rapid growth that the company has enjoyed over past few years requires to upgrade and add new technologies to serve markets. Last year the Group‘s investment into new technologies and equipment, upgrade of machine control systems reached EUR 0,9 million in total.
„We follow our strategy to invest into sustainable and innovative technologies as well as improve operational efficiency. Extra efforts are directed towards development of competencies, especially in the field of R&D. The demand for modern and sustainable manufacturing is high in Europe and across the globe, therefore we keep building our position in this segment”, – speaks Algirdas Šabūnas, CEO of Utenos trikotažas.