Ecco remains resilient despite net sales decline in 2020

Published:  22 March, 2021
Credit: Ecco

The Danish tanner, footwear manufacturer and retailer recorded net sales of €1,092 million in 2020 from €1,360 million in 2019, and its profit before tax was €45 million.

Ecco’s net sales from retail and e-commerce combined grew by 2%, supported by strong online sales growth of 34% and acquisition of shops. Overall, net sales saw a decline to €1,092 million (2019: €1,360 million).

Ecco continued to invest heavily in its distribution, acquiring, for example, the business in Russia and a large number of Ecco shops in the Middle East and the Netherlands. Major investments were made in digital platforms, advanced marketing capabilities and infrastructure, enabling product innovation. Investments in 2020 were at a record high of €195 million.

During 2020, Ecco remained profitable and financially strong. Discounting the effects of acquisitions, the earnings were halved as also seen from EBITDA, which declined by 54% from 2019 to €119 million.

Ecco’s CEO Steen Borgholm said: "Ecco’s 2020 results reflect the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, which led to a temporary closure of most of our shops and an unparalleled decline in profit. However, our business model and organisation have once again proven robust, allowing us to act swiftly in times of changes."

Ecco accelerated a number of strategic projects in 2020, including the pilot of a new brand and marketing initiative, #MovesLikeYou, which shifted focus towards a more versatile product range such as sneakers and athleisure.

Ecco set a number of environmental targets, too: by 2030, the company aims to run on renewable energy and in its tanneries use bio-based chemicals and closed-loop water systems only.