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SBD Global/October 24, 2012/Finance

Russia Is Most Important Market For Winter Sports Company Fischer

German biathlete Sven Fischer kisses his Fischer cross-country skies after winning Gold at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Austrian winter sports manufacturer Fischer Sports "generates 80-85% of its revenue in foreign markets," according to Josef Lehner of OÖNACHRICHTEN ZEITUNG. Surprisingly, Russia has become Fischer's "most-important market with 300,000 cross-country skies sold last year." In addition, "a majority of the 1 million hockey sticks produced at Fischer's Ukrain-based plant in Mukacheve" goes to Russia. Fischer Sports CFO Günter Kitzmüller said, "In general, the east markets become more interesting. They need, however, intensive work." Fischer "employs a staff of 75 people who secure the company's sales success in Russia." Currently, the focus is on Nordic skiing, but the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi "could provide a boost for alpine skiing." In the meantime, Fischer expects a strong upcoming winter season after last year's weak winter led to modest preorder turnout this year. Kitzmüller said, "But the previous year was the most-successful in history." After a deep plunge in '07-08, Fischer's revenue steeply increased, from €130M to €159M during the '10-11 fiscal year and €185M in '11-12 (OÖNACHRICHTEN ZEITUNG, 10/23).
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