(adds detail, analyst comment)
HELSINKI, April 24 Finnish sporting goods
company Amer Sports posted a 22 percent fall in
first-quarter operating profit on Thursday, citing reduced
demand in Russia and lower sales of winter sports equipment
because of warm weather.
Amer Sports, the maker of Wilson tennis rackets and Salomon
skis, said its adjusted operating profit in the first three
months of the year dropped to 20.6 million euros ($28.5 million)
from 26.4 million euros last year, well below an average
forecast of 29 million euros in a Reuters poll.
"It was weaker than expected," Nordea analyst Rauli Juva
said, singling out disappointing performance in the ball sports
segment. Sales there are declining as Amer seeks to improve its
margins and shed unprofitable sales.
A mild winter hurt the sales of cross-country skis, Amer
said, while the weak Russian economy and the decline in the
rouble exchange rate also hurt the company.
"In Russia, we faced challenges due to declining consumer
demand and devaluation of the currency, which caused a decline
in our EBIT," Chief Executive Heikki Takala said in a statement.
The company reiterated its guidance for increased profit
Shares in the company were down 1.7 percent at 15.04 euros
by 1045 GMT.
($1 = 0.7231 Euros)
(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; Editing by Jussi Rosendahl and