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Rapala VMC Corporation
Half year financial report
July 14, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.


January-June (H1) in brief:

  • Net sales were 148.4 MEUR, down 7% from previous year (159.6). With comparable exchange rates sales were 12% down from previous year.
  • Operating profit was 13.6 MEUR (26.3).
  • Comparable operating profit* was 15.5 MEUR (26.5).
  • Earnings per share (non-diluted) was 0.22 EUR (0.43).
  • Cash flow from operations was -8.6 MEUR (23.1).
  • Inventories were 117.7 MEUR (73.8).
  • Short-term outlook unchanged from April 28, 2022: The Group expects 2022 full year comparable operating profit* to be below the previous year.

* Excluding mark-to-market valuations of operative currency derivatives and other items affecting comparability. Other items affecting comparability include material restructuring costs, impairments, gains and losses on business combinations and disposals, insurance compensations and other non-operational items.

President and CEO Nicolas Cederström Warchalowski: “The first six months of 2022 have been challenging in how quickly the sport fishing market sentiment changed from a market, which was gradually re-setting, due to consumers returning to more normal pre-pandemic activities, into that of a sharper market reset. The most noticeable and fastest market sentiment shift was in the US as dampened consumer demand in this market was coupled with retailer de-stocking effects. The colder than usual and prolonged winter shortened the open water sport fishing season by a gruesome 4-8 weeks in the first half of 2022 depending by the country in the northern hemisphere. Also, the strong macroeconomic headwinds with high inflation, record gas prices together with the effects caused by the Ukrainian war contributed. A big thank you go out to all Rapala VMC team members who again quickly hooked arms to navigate through these difficult circumstances and importantly for also not slowing down the pace in our on-going ONE RAPALA VMC turnaround plan. Instead, and importantly, several strategic executional plans were accelerated to meet the new more challenging market conditions.

In this disrupted sport fishing market environment Rapala VMC in first half of 2022 generated 148.4 MEUR of net sales, which was 7% below previous year. Comparable operating profit for the first six months of the year was 15.5 MEUR and down by 11 MEUR from prior year. Inventory grew up to 117.7 MEUR at the end of June, which is 31.5 MEUR higher than in December 2021.

Highlights in the first half of 2022 included the successful launch of Okuma in Europe, which is ahead of internal business case targets in first six months despite the dampened overall consumer demand and retailer de-stocking of entry level rod & reel combos. Also, the integration- and product development plans with 13 Fishing have progressed greatly, which will improve the 13 Fishing spinning reel range and further solidify the growing rod & reel category. The rod & reel category is delivering incremental business growth for the Group, which is a fundamental element of the ONE RAPALA VMC strategic plan as it is now replacing the departed sales of both Shimano and non-strategic third party products.

The build-up of the new S&OP team in our Helsinki HQ and key business units is now nearly finalized, which will lead to strengthened operational capabilities for Rapala VMC. Rapala VMC did also in the first half of 2022 sign onto a new global S&OP system, which will be implemented in the second half of 2022 and be linked to our financial planning. The SKU & Brand rationalization plan, aiming to reduce SKUs significantly and tens of brands & sub-brands, is progressing according to plan and will be finalized by end of this year. The logistics consolidation to fewer warehouses is continuing with good results. Given the high current group inventory levels and the continued disruptions in worldwide supply chain and logistics, several of these S&OP and operational actions plan elements have been greatly accelerated.

The Rapala VMC team is growing stronger, more united, and more capable by the day and is showing great passion to take Rapala VMC to the next higher level. This will be an even greater asset in the competitive post-covid normalized markets, where above normal level market growth will be rewarded to companies able to win market shares vs. competitive brands and demanding consumers”.

Key figures

H1 H1 Change FY
MEUR 2022 2021         % 2021
Net sales 148.4 159.6 -7% 294.3
Operating profit 13.6 26.3 32.1
% of net sales 9.2% 16.5% 10.9%
Comparable operating profit * 15.5 26.5 -42% 32.7
% of net sales 10.5% 16.6% 11.1%
Cash flow from operations -8.6 23.1 -138% 24.4
Gearing % 66.7% 18.6%  50.7%
EPS, EUR 0.22 0.43 0.45

* Excluding mark-to-market valuations of operative currency derivatives and other items affecting comparability. Other items affecting comparability include material restructuring costs, impairments, gains and losses on business combinations and disposals, insurance compensations and other non-operational items.
   Rapala Group presents alternative performance measures to reflect the underlying business performance and to enhance comparability between financial periods. Alternative performance measures should not be considered in isolation as a substitute for measures of performance in accordance with IFRS. Definitions and reconciliation of key figures are presented in the financial section of the release.

Market Environment

During the first half of the year, trading conditions slowed from the comparison period due to the Ukrainian crisis, cold and late spring in the Northern hemisphere and due to the post-covid market normalization. Additionally, high inflation and high gas prices impacted consumer discretionary spending in the Group’s key markets.

Business Review January–June 2022

The Group’s net sales for the first half were 7% below the exceptional comparison period due to the changed market environment. Changes in translation exchange rates had a positive impact on the sales and with comparable translation exchange rates, net sales were organically down by 12% from the comparison period.

The implementation of the ONE RAPALA VMC strategy has progressed strongly. In the important rod and reel category, Okuma performed very well in Europe in the first half of the year. Good winter season in both Nordics and in North America contributed positively to winter sports and ice fishing businesses.

North America

Sales in North America were 1% down compared to the comparison period with reported translation exchange rates and 10% with comparable translation exchange rates. Third Party sales included a significant portion of 13 Fishing products sold to DQC International (13 Fishing USA), which are classified as Third Party products as the Group holds a 49% share in the associated company. Excluding this, sales were down 8% with reported translation exchange rates, and down 16% with comparable translation exchange rates.

The decrease in sales was caused by the cold and delayed spring and post-covid market normalization. Furthermore, high inflation and record high gas prices affected purchasing decisions both at retail level and amongst consumers. However, the sales of Group Products in North America were 24% higher compared to the pre-covid 2019 figures.


Sales in the Nordic market decreased from the exceptional comparison period by 21%. With comparable translation exchange rates sales were down by 20% from the first half of 2021.

Strategic focus on Group Products and the successful launch of Okuma distribution helped to maintain sales of continuing business close to last year’s level despite the delayed spring. Based on our strategy, sales of Third Party products decreased.

Rest of Europe

With reported translation exchange rates, sales in Rest of Europe were 9% below the comparison period. With comparable translation exchange rates, sales were down by 11% compared to the first half of 2021.

The Ukrainian crisis, delayed spring, and strategic termination of certain Third Party distributions had a negative impact on sales. However, this decline was partially offset by the very strong start of the Okuma distribution.

Rest of the World

Sales in Rest of the World decreased from the comparison period by 6% with reported currencies and by 9% using comparable translation exchange rates.

In Rest of the World, market demand remained fairly solid. The increased focus on Group Products kept the sales of this category close to last year’s level.

External net sales by area

H1 H1 ChangeComparable change % FY
MEUR 2022 2021 % 2021
North America 69.2 69.9 -1%-10% 134.8
Nordic 20.1 25.3 -21%-20% 45.5
Rest of Europe 42.6 46.8 -9%-11% 80.6
Rest of the World 16.5 17.6 -6%-9% 33.4
Total148.4 159.6 -7%-12% 294.3

Financial Results and Profitability

Comparable (excluding mark-to-market valuations of operative currency derivatives and other items affecting comparability) operating profit decreased by 11.0 MEUR from the exceptional comparison period. Reported operating profit decreased by 12.7 MEUR from the previous year. Items affecting comparability had a negative impact of -1.9 MEUR (-0.2) on the reported operating profit. Compared to the pre-covid figures of 2019, the comparable operating profit was 3.6 MEUR higher.

Comparable operating profit margin was 10.5% (16.6%) for the first half of 2022. The decreased profitability was affected by decline in sales in the normalized market environment. Furthermore, current macroeconomic environment with high inflation puts pressure on sales and profitability. More favorable product mix and successful launch of Okuma distribution helped to offset part of the decline.

Reported operating profit margin was 9.2% (16.5%) for the first half. Reported operating profit included impact of mark-to-market valuation of operative currency derivatives of -0.1 MEUR (-0.2). Net expenses of other items affecting comparability included in the reported operating profit were -1.9 MEUR (0.0). These included restructuring related write-downs and impairments of the Russian production and distribution set-up, as well as expenses related to streamlining of the management structure worldwide.

Total financial (net) expenses were 1.1 MEUR (1.4) for the first half of the year. Net interest and other financing expenses were 0.7 MEUR (1.3) and (net) foreign exchange expenses were 0.4 MEUR (0.1).

Net profit for the first half decreased by 9.4 MEUR and was 8.7 MEUR (18.1) and earnings per share was 0.22 EUR (0.43). The share of non-controlling interest in net profit was zero in 2022 (1.1 MEUR for the first half of 2021).

Key figures

H1 H1 Change FY
MEUR 2022 2021 % 2021
Net sales 148.4 159.6 -7% 294.3
Operating profit / loss 13.6 26.3 32.1
Comparable operating profit * 15.5 26.5 -42% 32.7
Net profit / loss 8.7 18.1 19.8
* Excluding mark-to-market valuations of operative currency derivatives and other items affecting comparability. Other items affecting comparability include material restructuring costs, impairments, gains and losses on business combinations and disposals, insurance compensations and other non-operational items.

Bridge calculation of comparable operating profit

H1 H1 Change FY
MEUR 2022 2021 % 2021
Operating profit / loss13.626.3-48%32.1
Mark-to-market valuations of operative currency derivatives 0.1 0.2 0.2
Other items affecting comparability 1.9 0.0 0.4
Comparable operating profit15.526.5-42%32.7

More detailed bridge of comparable operating profit and definitions and reconciliation of key figures are presented in the financial section of the release.

Segment Review

Group Products

With comparable translation exchange rates, Group Products sales decreased by 7.0 MEUR from the comparison period. Sales decrease was a result of the impact caused by the Ukrainian crisis, cold and late spring in the Northern hemisphere as well as faster post-covid market normalization. Followed by the decrease in sales, also the comparable operating profit for Group Products was below the comparison period.

Third Party Products

With comparable translation exchange rates, Third Party Products sales were 12.8 MEUR below the comparison period. The strategic decision to narrow down the distribution of Third Party products and focus strongly on Group Products is visible in the figures.

Net sales by segment

H1 H1 ChangeComparable FY
MEUR 2022 2021 %change % 2021
Group Products 120.8 120.5 +0%-5% 227.7
Third Party Products 27.6 39.2 -30%-32% 66.6
Total148.4 159.6 -7%-12% 294.3

Comparable operating profit by segment

H1 H1 Change FY
MEUR 2022 2021 % 2021
Group Products 14.3 22.1 -38% 29.5
Third Party Products 1.2 4.5 -73% 3.2
Comparable operating profit15.5 26.5 -42% 32.7
Items affecting comparability -1.9 -0.2 +850% -0.6
Operating profit / loss13.6 26.3 -48% 32.1

Financial Position

As a result of weaker profitability and increased inventories, cash flow from operations decreased by 31.7 MEUR from the comparison period being -8.6 MEUR (23.1). The impact of net change of working capital decreased cash flow from operations by 24.9 MEUR from previous year and was -23.3 MEUR (1.6).

End of June 2022 inventory was 117.7 MEUR (73.8). The cold and late spring in the Northern hemisphere as well as faster post-covid market normalization resulted in higher inventory levels. The increase in inventory was further amplified by the worldwide supply chain and logistical disruption. Strong actions are ongoing to keep the inventory long-term on the right level with centralized S&OP decisions making and cutting the number of SKUs considerably.

Net cash used in investing activities decreased from the level of the comparison period amounting 5.3 MEUR (6.3). Capital expenditure was 5.5 MEUR (7.2) and disposals 0.2 MEUR (0.8). Capital expenditure for the first half of the year was mainly driven by investments into production machinery.

Liquidity position of the Group was good. Undrawn committed long-term credit facilities amounted to 40.4 MEUR at the end of the period. Gearing ratio increased and equity-to-assets ratio came down from last year, but Group’s cash position remains strong, and cash and cash equivalents amount 25.2 MEUR at June 30, 2022. The Group fulfils all the requirements of the lenders and expects to do this also in the future.

Key figures

H1 H1 Change FY
MEUR 2022 2021 % 2021
Cash flow from operations -8.6 23.1 -138% 24.4
Net interest-bearing debt at end of period 99.4 30.5 +226% 70.6
Gearing % 66.7% 18.6% 50.7%
Equity-to-assets ratio at end of period, % 42.3% 53.8% 44.2%
Definitions and reconciliation of key figures are presented in the financial section of the release.

Strategy Implementation

The strategic target of the Group is to become a united group brand & innovation driven sport fishing powerhouse. Current strategic actions, with significantly ramped up capabilities and improved speed of strategy execution, aim to utilize the full potential of Rapala VMC in the future and to also take a leading position in sustainability within the sport fishing industry.

The core of the Group’s strategy is based on six key building blocks that are all interconnected and shared around the Group in all business units. Future strategies are built upon utilizing and capitalizing the brand portfolio, manufacturing and sourcing platform, research and development knowledge, as well as the broad sales network and strong local presence around the world. Focus and speed are in the center of the strategic decision-making process to enable focus and agile actions in the competitive landscape. The overall strategy execution is progressing quickly as several of the ONE RAPALA VMC action plan elements are synergistic between each other. In light of the current high inventory, several plans related to sales and operations planning as well as inventory management have been accelerated.

Team/Culture – The first strategic building block is associated with the foundation that all business units and functions strive for togetherness as a one strong winning entity. This enables the entire Group culture to become more united, collaborative, dynamic and growth oriented. New managerial changes were carried out during the first half of the year to underline that the Group continuously positions team and culture to the forefront of its strategy. With fewer management layers and agile leadership structure, the Group is even better positioned in the normalized market conditions to continue strong strategy implementation.

Sustainability – We fight together to ensure that future generations get to enjoy fishing and the great outdoors. The aim is to become the top company in the fishing tackle industry behind concrete sustainability actions from everyone in our team to ensure that we make a real and long-lasting difference. The Group’s sustainability initiatives have steadily progressed across all key product categories. During the first half of the year, the first-ever plastic-free packaging for Rapala hard bait was introduced. The planning of packages according to sustainability strategy for key brands has continued as planned, and several projects have been finalized that considerably advance the Group’s target to become one of the leading fishing tackle companies in terms of sustainability in the future.

Consumer – Focus on end-users is a critical part of the strategy. The aim is to lead the market and bring newest trends to the fishing industry by offering innovative and exciting products. The Group continues to put emphasis on improving its e-commerce to provide the best possible customer experience for the continuously growing digitally aware consumer base. A new e-commerce platform was successfully launched in EU during 2021 and has received excellent feedback from end-users. Launch for North America is planned for second half of 2022. The new e-commerce platform underlines the Group’s ambition to become more directly connected with consumers.

Customer – Relationships with key customers and winning position in local markets are emphasized with deep customer and market know-how as well as continuously investing in all sales channels. The Group has invested in premium customer service and having even stronger, fixed foothold on ground in key markets. The Group is expanding and improving the showroom network in Europe, with new locations opened in the Benelux region and improved accessibility and quality in Sweden, Baltics and Austria. Furthermore, joint customer business plans have been made with more customers to build solid long-term strategic partnerships with key customers.

Product development/Innovation – R&D and PD&I functions are becoming even stronger competitive advantages for the entire Group at the same time as fishermen around the world demand new innovations to catch more fish. In order to address consumer and customer needs on a global scale, the Group has continued to restructure its PD&I department. The new PD&I team is ready to collaborate across other departments and functions to ensure extensive regional product relevance and long-term product planning. Additionally, the largest SKU clean-up in company history is progressing as planned and continues gradually during 2022 to give more focus on Group owned brands and future winners.

Operations/Finance – The Group continues to invest in its operations to make a step-change in operational excellence, to improve working capital efficiency and profitability. Building an integrated business planning model with global S&OP process is developing as planned and will strengthen capital efficiency and improve availability of key items. The Group continues its logistics consolidation by transferring more European countries to be served directly from the new Pärnu distribution center by the end of 2022. Furthermore, production capacity has been increased in Pärnu as the Group’s Russian production and distribution set-up is being restructured due to the Ukrainian crisis. Additionally, organizational changes have been made and management layers streamlined together with increased headcount in supply chain management. Asian sourcing operations have been integrated deeper into the Group supply chain network amongst these changes, which enables improved inventory control going forward. Changed purchase governance with strong centralized intervention and decision making has been initiated to enable sharp inventory control.

Product Development

New management structure implemented in product development includes a much deeper collaborative effort with sales and marketing teams to ensure the introduction of new products is fully optimized during the “go to market” phase. As the PD&I team continues to strengthen, solid category management will be the foundation for long-term growth.

Rapala VMC entered in the first half of the year several new segments such as tackle storage and polarized eyewear, receiving excellent reviews from all across Europe. The sell-in of pre-orders was strong with the introduction of a very dynamic range of European made boxes offering exceptional value and functionality. To keep the momentum rolling, additional sizes and configurations have been introduced for delivery in late 2022.

In lure category, we had exciting introductions, including the all new “Precision” lure series with attributes making it a player on the world stage of premium lures, such as precise tournament grade swimming actions, extreme durability, and long-casting ability. Further, the success of Elite series of Rapala balsa lures has now spread from Japan and Europe to North America where strong pre-sales indicate mass acceptance and high interest level. The expansion of Elite series, with newly launched ShadRap and SkitterPop Elite families has also been accelerated in the APAC region.

From a sustainability perspective our drive towards 100% “lead-free” Rapala wobblers will near completion in Q4/2022 with the goal of all shipments of Rapala wobblers being completely “lead-free” by the end of 2023. Engineering teams have worked closely with internal designers and product testers to ensure the new lead-free offerings meet and exceed customer expectations, while simultaneously meeting our internal ESG goals.


The Group continued to maintain the strong momentum in sustainability also in the first half of 2022. The strategy planning and implementation for our brands continued as planned. For example, our goal to introduce more ecological packaging for our key brands took another brave step forward as we introduced the first plastic-free packaging for Flash-X Dart and Flash-X Skitter hard baits. This was the first time for the Group to introduce plastic-free packaging for hard baits, and it was a natural continuation from last year’s achievement of introducing the first plastic-free packaging for metal spoons. In general, a lot of progress has been done in packaging development across all product categories. The implementation of the updated Supplier Code of Conduct is proceeding ahead of the schedule and the response from suppliers has been very positive.

The Group was able to achieve several sustainability targets for its brands ahead of the initial schedules. These include the reduction of carbon footprint for Marttiini production, and reduction in energy and water use in our Rapala and Marttiini production units. The Group also made an investment in Dynamite Baits factory in the UK to install solar panels. Further investments for solar panels are planned for the remaining part of the year and Dynamite Baits also shifted to fully renewable electricity as of June 2022. Dynamite Baits has also made impressive progress in their packaging development as they have introduced fully recyclable packaging for most of their products. In the beginning of the year, the unit shifted to LED lighting. These actions will have a considerable effect on the unit’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. Similar to the project done in 2021, the carbon footprint of Marttiini production has been compensated for this year by planting trees in Forssa, Finland, in co-operation with a company Reforest, to make Marttiini carbon neutral. To have more information on the environmental effects of individual products, the Group has determined the carbon footprint of different types of lures together with an external agency. The results of this survey will guide our future product development, as we were able to identify the most important contributors to CO2 emissions on different types of lures. Rapala VMC Poland arranged ‘I’m eco with Rapala’ campaign with an aim to clean the Polish waterways. About 2 800 anglers attended the campaign, and the volunteers were able to pick up approximately 200 tons of garbage. In Canada, as a result of an internal sustainability idea competition, we started several projects with an aim to reduce the unit’s negative environmental impact. These include e.g. reducing the paper consumption in the unit, reusing waste cardboard for shipping and attending local shoreline cleanup events.

In terms of activities outside the Group, we were successfully able to extend our cooperative actions according to the initial plan. Rapala VMC is now the main sponsor of Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association to support their work to keep Finnish waters cleaner, which is prerequisite for an enjoyable fishing experience. As a part of deeper collaboration, we have launched the first-ever sustainability-themed campaign for consumers in social media. We also continued the highly successful lure recycling campaign this year together with Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing and started collaboration with Finnish Freshwater Foundation who aim to improve the state of Finnish waterways through restoration projects.

Personnel and Organization

Average number of personnel was 1 794 (1 827) for the first half of the year. At the end of June, the number of personnel was 1 777 (1 808).

Lars Ollberg, COO of Rapala VMC, retired at the end of May 2022 after a highly successful 44-year career at Rapala VMC. Olli Aho, who has been the Group’s long serving General Counsel, Head of Investor Relations and Secretary of the Board will retire at the end of December, 2022. He will continue serving Rapala VMC as a Senior Legal Advisor until December 31, 2024.

Short-term Outlook and Risks

Fishing tackle markets in general have started to normalize to post-covid levels. However, the Group expects the overall long-term consumer demand for fishing tackle to stay on a higher level compared to pre-pandemic levels in the future.

The Group’s supply chain, including own factories and subcontractors, is currently working robustly, but global supply chain disruptions are affecting delivery and freight times and consequently availability of products to some extent. Weather changes and disruptions or cost increases in freight costs may affect the results of the Group. The Group is currently restructuring its production and distribution set-up in Russia and increasing capacity at the Estonian factory located in Pärnu. This increases temporarily the production risks of the Group, but new production capacity is building up at the Estonian factory constantly.

There are higher than normal uncertainties and risks around the sales and profitability of the second half of the year in 2022. General macroeconomic environment and current high inflation impacts both consumers and retailers, which puts a strong pressure on the Group’s profitability. General destocking and overall cautiousness at retail level impacts their purchases in all categories, even to some extent in categories where underlying consumer demand could be better. High inflation and especially high gas prices impact consumers and their demand on fishing tackle, which could be amplified by the general and broader shift of consumer spending from goods to services in the normalization of market conditions post-covid. This also affects the Group’s sales and profitability.

The guidance for 2022 was changed on April 28, 2022. The Group expects 2022 full year comparable operating profit (excluding mark-to-market valuations of operative currency derivatives and other items affecting comparability) to be below the previous year. The previous outlook for 2022 issued on February 10, 2022 was: “The Group expects 2022 full year comparable operating profit (excluding mark-to-market valuations of operative currency derivatives and other items affecting comparability) to be in line with the previous year.”

Short-term risks and uncertainties and the seasonality of the business are described in more detail in the end of this report.

Other significant events

Buy back of own shares

On March 1, 2022 the Group announced that the Board of Directors of Rapala VMC Corporation has decided to start buying back a maximum of 250.000 of Rapala VMC Corporation's own shares, equaling to some 0.64% of all shares, in accordance with the authorization granted by the Annual General Meeting on March 25, 2021. The buy back of own shares started on the 3rd of March 2022 and ended on the 22nd of March 2022. During this period, Rapala VMC Corporation repurchased 73.655 shares for an average price of EUR 6.5995 per share. Following the repurchases, the Company holds a total of 123.891 own shares.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was kept on March 23, 2022 and in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGM was held without shareholders’ and their proxy representatives’ presence at the venue of the meeting. The shareholders of the company participated in the meeting and exercised their shareholder’s rights by voting in advance or through a proxy representative designated by the company. The AGM approved the Board of Director’s proposal that a dividend of EUR 0.15 per share is paid based on the adopted balance sheet for the financial year 2021. A separate stock exchange release on the decisions of the AGM has been given, and up to date information on the Board’s authorizations and other decisions of the AGM are available also on the corporate website.

Helsinki, July 14, 2022

Board of Directors of Rapala VMC Corporation

For further information, please contact:

Nicolas Cederström Warchalowski, President and Chief Executive Officer, +358 9 7562 540
Jan-Elof Cavander, Chief Financial Officer, +358 9 7562 540
Olli Aho, Investor Relations, +358 9 7562 540

A conference call on the first half year result will be arranged on Friday July 15, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Finnish time (9:00 a.m UK time). Please dial +44 (0)330 165 3641 or +1 646 828 8082 or +358 (0)9 7479 0572 (pin code: 667382) five minutes before the beginning of the event. A replay facility will be available for 14 days following the teleconference. The number to dial is +44 (0)207 660 0134 (pin code: 3278633). Financial information and teleconference replay facility are available at


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