Fristads Kansas Group re-launches iconic workwear brand Fristads

4/24/2017
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• Successful turnaround of the Group with positive net income in 2016 • Re-introduction of Fristads as stand-alone workwear brand

Fristads Kansas Group, Europe’s largest professional wear group, with leading workwear brands such as Fristads, Kansas, B&C, Wenaas, Bragard and Hejco, has made a turnaround and reports positive earnings for the full year 2016, after several consecutive years of negative results. Following a successful re-structuring of the Group’s portfolio of brands, including divestments, Fristads Kansas Group now focuses on sales growth with its portfolio of leading workwear brands. As part of this strategy, the iconic Swedish workwear brand Fristads will be re-launched as a stand-alone brand.

Positive earnings in 2016
Fristads Kansas Group net sales for the full year 2016 were EUR 402 m (443). The development followed re-structuring measures including divestments and discontinuations as well as currency effects from weakened NOK and SEK versus EUR. 

Group Earnings before tax (EBT) increased to EUR 8.4 m (-6.7) and Net income improved to EUR 2.6 m (-9.0). The earnings growth followed cost reductions and efficiency improvements from the re-structuring activities that were initiated in 2015 and 2016. In addition to the positive earnings, the Group also generated a strong positive cash-flow. 

Anders Davidsson, CEO of Fristads Kansas Group since October 2014, commented the results: “It is an important milestone for Fristads Kansas Group to again make money on the bottom line. We have streamlined and simplified operations, reduced overhead costs and discontinued unprofitable business activities. We now have an excellent position to increase our focus on sales growth by leveraging our portfolio of some of Europe’s strongest workwear brands.”

Re-launch of Fristads as stand-alone brand 
The Fristads Kansas brand is one of Europe’s largest workwear brands for building & construction, industry & service and logistics. In 2016, its net sales continued to increase, reinforcing strong market positions in the home markets of Sweden and Denmark, whilst also expanding in other markets. Several new high-quality products were launched in 2016, e.g., the new stretch workwear pant, the three-colour Airtech jacket, the new Hi-Visibility shell jacket and trousers in Gore-Tex etc., underlining a strong determination to remain a leading supplier of workwear through innovation and product development. 

The Fristads Kansas brand was introduced in 2012 through the merger of the two separate brands Fristads and Kansas, combining the best of Swedish and Danish workwear know-how. The joint brand strategy was core in achieving supply chain efficiency improvements. Investments have also been made in the brand’s production sites with the aim of further improving service levels and reducing lead-times. 

In line with the Group’s strategy to increase focus on its strong core brands, increase top-of-mind awareness and grow net sales, and following realised efficiency improvements, Fristads will be re-launched as a stand-alone brand in 2017. The aim is to underline the strong Swedish roots through a clear brand identity, allowing for a better effect of marketing and sponsoring initiatives and to capitalise on the full potential of the brand. In parallel, the Kansas brand will be re-introduced in Denmark for the same reason.

Anders Davidsson commented: “The joint brand strategy has generated strong efficiency improvements in our supply chain. We have now taken the decision to re-introduce Fristads and Kansas as stand-alone brands to release the full potential of these two iconic original brands, while still sharing many of the products in the range between the two brands. Fristads and Kansas are popular brands with strong heritages. They are well known among customers for their wide assortment of high-quality, functional and comfortable workwear. I am proud to be part of bringing the original Fristads and Kansas brands back to workwear users and I’m excited about the journey ahead of us.”

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For additional information please contact Anders Davidsson on telephone +46 70 545 70 80.

Fristads Kansas Group is Europe’s largest professional wear group with many leading brands including Fristads, Kansas, B&C, Wenaas, Bragard, Hejco etc. The group is active in design, production and marketing of professional wear for a variety of end-user segments and has strong market positions, especially in Northern Europe. The annual turnover of the group is around Euro 400 million and the head quarter is based in Borås, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.fristadskansasgroup.com 


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