Solid Q4 closed yet another year of record sales and profits
HEIKKI TAKALA, PRESIDENT AND CEO: We closed the year 2018 with a solid Q4. Topline was up 10% (organic +5%), driven by our strategic acceleration priorities and on-going transformation. Growth was strongest in Apparel (+41%), boosted by the acquisition of Peak Performance. D2C (+23%) and e-tail (+15%) were again the winning channels, and China (+16%) and USA (+10%) drove geographical growth. Fitness (+9%) had strong topline momentum but profitability requires further work. In Q4, we continued to prepare strategically for a more focused portfolio as we proceeded the Cycling sale process, and in the core business we continued to invest into future growth to ensure a strong pipeline of initiatives for 2019 and beyond.
In 2018, we delivered again record sales and profits as we closed the ninth consecutive year of profitable growth and broad-based improvement. We continued to drive our strategic transformation. Apparel became our largest business area, and Softgoods now represents 40% of our sales. Modern channels (own D2C and e-tail) reached 30% of our sales, and China and USA now represent 45% of the company sales. In short, our strategies are delivering results with the vast majority of our businesses making good progress. I want to thank our organization for the strong contribution in 2018, looking forward to another good year of growth and improvement in 2019.