Winter sports remain the driving force in Head’s portfolio, which saw sales for the first six months of 2014 increase by 2.0 percent in euros and by 4.2 percent in constant currencies to €136.9 million in total (see figures in graph below). Snow sports were up by 6.5 percent, even though this is not a historically busy period for deliveries of winter sports equipment. Pre-orders for winter sports gear for next season have improved, despite poor weather conditions in Central and northern Europe last season.
The moderate decline in its racket sports division of 1.1 percent to €80.5 million can basically be explained by unfavorable currency exchange rates. The growth in its diving unit was inorganic, thanks to the acquisition of SSI Group last year. The sales of equipment in this category suffered from the ongoing difficult economic situation in southern Europe.
The gross margin improved by 3.4 percentage points to 44.3 percent which is due to lower expenses in sales of tennis balls, ski bindings and diving gear as well as to higher revenues from license agreements. Adjusted operating losses improved to €8.1 million from €8.8 million last year.