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2016-07-21

Thule Group: Thule Group CEO and President Magnus Welander comments on the second quarter 2016

Strong growth in the first six months.
We continued our strong growth in the second quarter of 2016, driven
primarily by successful product launches. Sales growth in the second
quarter was 8.2 percent (after currency adjustments), meaning that we
posted growth of 7.2 percent for the first six months.

In the Sport&Cargo Carriers and Other Outdoor&Bags product categories,
we accelerated our growth, predominantly in Europe.

This positive volume growth and product mix also enabled us to
continue to increase profitability, despite a slightly weaker trend
in the US, where the market was characterized by a certain degree of
concern in the wake of the bankruptcy of two sporting goods chains.

Underlying EBIT increased 9.9 percent during the quarter after
currency adjustment. On a rolling annual basis, the margin thus now
amounts to 16.8 percent (16.0 percent for the full-year 2015).

Region Europe & ROW shows strong growth
We are very pleased about how well our various growth initiatives in
Region Europe & ROW delivered during the quarter, with sales growth
of 12.8 percent after currency adjustments.

We continued to drive market growth and capture market share in our
largest category, Sport&Cargo Carriers, due to highly appreciated
product launches and continued close cooperation at the retailer
level. Furthermore, we continued to grow rapidly in Other
Outdoor&Bags, driven by a steady rise in awareness of our testwinning
products in Active with Kids, as well as the expanded range of
backpacks in Sport&Travel Bags. In RV Products, we continued the
positive trend seen in the first quarter, capturing market shares in
a category that also displayed robust market growth.

As expected, the Bags for Electronic Devices category was slightly
better than expected than in the first quarter due to reduced
exposure to shrinking categories, such as camera bags.

A challenging market in Region Americas
In Region Americas, sales increased by 0.5 percent during the quarter
(after currency adjustment), which was slightly down on expectations.
We generated growth in Canada and Latin America, while the market
situation in the US was less stable.

The bankruptcies of two major US retail chains in the sports and
outdoor market during the spring has impacted overall confidence at
the retail level, including the Sport&Cargo Carriers category. The
performance of the bike market was also weaker than expected in the
US.

Nevertheless, the signals in the market indicate that we are defending
our market shares in Sport&Cargo carriers and are capturing market
shares in Other Outdoor&Bags, in the somewhat weaker overall market.

Following very positive PR, the trend in Other Outdoor&Bags remained
highly favorable in the Active with Kids category. This relates in
particular to our sport strollers, a product range that is now
growing rapidly. The trend for hiking backpacks also remained
positive.

The Bags for Electronic Devices category was more stable during the
second quarter, following a very weak first quarter. The focus on
growth of bags for everyday use, such as smaller backpacks and laptop
cases, continues.

Improved profitability in Work Gear
The focus on profitable growth via an improved product mix and
enhanced production efficiency continued to bear fruit. During the
second quarter, sales increased marginally by SEK 1m (after currency
adjustment), while operating income rose by SEK 6m (after currency
adjustment). The main growth driver was racks for pick-up trucks, a
product for which our margins are higher.

Active with Kids acquisition strengthens portfolio
In early July, we acquired GMG B.V., the leading manufacturer of child
bike seats in the Benelux region, with sales of EUR 6.1m in 2015. The
products (sold under the Yepp brand) will be an excellent complement
to our existing range of child bike seats and matches our strategy to
grow in the Active with Kids category. GMG B.V. has operated with a
lean, productfocused sales- and marketing organization with six
employees and we expect a swift and smooth integration.

An exciting trade show period and summer
With a solid start to the year, peak season and many exciting new
products to exhibit during the summer's trade shows, Thule Group has
much to look forward to in the period ahead.

---
Enquiries, please contact:
Fredrik Erlandsson
SVP Communications and Investor Relations
Tel: +46 70 309 00 21
E-mail: fredrik.erlandsson@thule.com

---

About Thule Group
Thule Group is a world leader in products that make it easy to bring
the things you care for - easily, securely and in style - when living
an active life.

Under the motto Active Life, Simplified. we offer products within two
segments: Outdoor&Bags (e.g. equipment for cycling-, water- and
winter sports, roof boxes, bike trailers, baby joggers, laptop and
camera bags, backpacks and cases for mobile handheld devices) and
Specialty (pick-up truck tool boxes). Our products are sold in 139
markets globally.

There are more than 2,000 of us working for Thule Group at nine
production facilities and more than 35 sales locations all over the
world.

Net sales for 2015 amounted to 5.3 billion SEK.
Thule Group is a public company listed at Nasdaq Stockholm.
For more information, please visit www.thulegroup.com
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http://news.cision.com/thule-group/r/thule-group-ceo-and-president-magnu...
http://mb.cision.com/Main/1701/2049264/542443.pdf

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