Helsport and Swix: Stronger together
Helsport is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of lightweight sleeping bags and tents. Now the company will join Swix, Ulvang, Lundhags, Hard Rocx and Toko as part of Swix Sport.
“In the outdoor segment, we already offer a wide range of equipment, footwear and clothing from Lundhags and Ulvang. We can now supplement this offer with tents, lavvus, sleeping bags, backpacks and mountain trekking equipment for the full range of users, whether they need equipment for extreme conditions or favour comfort and user-friendliness”, explains Tomas Holmestad, CEO of Swix Sport, in an interview with Ferd Magazine.
A good owner
Stein Helliksen, the owner and CEO of Helsport since 1974, emphasises that he regards Swix Sport as a good and reliable owner with regard to the company’s further development now that he is selling. He will continue, however, to serve as the CEO of Helsport, and there are no plans to move its head office from Melhus just south of Trondheim, which is where 16 of the company’s employees will remain. The company also has a marketing office in Oslo with a further two employees, who will now be moving to Swix premises.
Stein Helliksen has decided to sell the company following a period of strong growth. With record turnover of NOK 120 million and its best ever profit, 2016 was the company’s best year ever. 2017 is shaping up to be even better in every way.
“Helsport has never been better positioned than it is today – and I see this as a good starting point for becoming part of a larger constellation in an industry that is facing both restructuring and challenges, but that also offers great opportunities”, he comments.
Stein emphasises that there is a clear trend towards bigger units and stiffer competition, and innovation is becoming increasingly important, while the industry will also have to meet new and stricter requirements in terms of environmental sustainability, fair trade and willingness to engage with corporate social responsibility. Like Tomas Holmestad, Stein Helliksen thinks there is the potential for significant synergies now that Helsport and Swix Sport are combining forces, with particularly sizeable opportunities in exports:
“We have a range of products that have features that make them the best in the world. With Swix Sports’ resources, international subsidiaries and distribution facilities, both parties will be able to reap significant benefits”, he explains.
The whole interview is available in the Ferd Magazine (in Norwegian).