Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
This is a summary of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Fiskars Group at the end of September 2021:
The market situation has been volatile throughout the pandemic. It was most challenging in March-April 2020, after which it improved clearly, and the situation has stabilized during 2021, in particular during the third quarter. Throughout the pandemic there have been significant differences by category and market. Overall, consumers have shifted their focus to e-commerce channels as a result of lockdowns and store closures, which has impacted retailers as well.
In the Vita categories demand started to improve during the end of 2020 and 2021. Still, store closures have negatively impacted the performance. Gifting is an important part of the business, and this still has not fully recovered from the hit by social distancing and restrictions on holding meetings. Additionally, customers in the hospitality channel (i.e. hotels, cruise lines, airlines) have largely halted investments.
In the Terra and Crea categories the pandemic had a different impact. Demand has been strong, as people have spent more time at home. In particular, the gardening and watering categories have seen increased consumer interest. Also, these categories have not been hit by store closures to the same extent as for Vita. For Crea, the demand for scissors and sewing products has increased as people have spent more time at home. During the second and third quarters of 2021, the growth in demand has leveled for both Terra and Crea.
Temporary cost-cutting measures
At the beginning of the pandemic, proactive steps were swiftly introduced to lessen the negative impacts of COVID-19 on operations around the world. As the situation evolved during the course of 2020, a broad range of cost savings were implemented. Most of these measures were taken starting in the second quarter of 2020 and were visible in the financial performance from the second quarter onwards. In 2021, these measures have only had a minor impact on profitability.
The company had to temporarily close stores due to the pandemic, starting in the Asia-Pacific region as early as January 2020. The closures and reopenings varied by country and even by city. The closures reached a high in April 2020, when a significant amount of the Group’s stores were closed. The number of store closures has since been at a lower level. At the end of the third quarter of 2021, only a small number of stores were closed.
The pandemic has impacted most of the company’s own production units. During the pandemic, some units have been temporarily closed to adjust to the decrease in demand, while others increased production volumes. In all units, new arrangements were put in place in order to meet regulations ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees. The strong demand and challenges in the global logistics chains have put pressure on the supply chain, during 2021 in particular. Despite these challenges, the company has successfully served its customers. The ability to deliver has been a competitive advantage for Fiskars.
The liquidity of Fiskars Group has remained strong during 2021. Actions to secure liquidity with short term borrowing were promptly taken during the first quarter of 2020. Driven by the strong cash flow, the remainder of these loans were repaid during the second quarter of 2021.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Fiskars Group has intensely followed up on and assessed the credit risks of trade receivables. The existing bad debt provision model for expected credit losses is based on the age groups of the trade receivables. Bad debt provision increases in line with the age of the trade receivables, so as the model is followed, the increased credit risk in the form of more mature trade receivables results in a higher bad debt provision. The model is adjusted for forward-looking information. Credit losses have remained at a historically normal level during 2021. The credit risk of trade receivables and the amount of bad debt provision was analyzed at the end of the reporting period, with the conclusion being that sufficient provisions have been made.
Updated on November 15, 2021