Clarifications regarding recent articles about the future of Exel Sports Oy

Clarifications regarding recent articles about the future of Exel Sports Oy

We have noted with pleasure the media’s interest in the future of Exel Sports Oy. However, I deem it necessary to correct certain matters having seen the misunderstandings that have arisen.

Exel Sports Oy has been reorganized and is now well-positioned for a new rise. Logistics have been outsourced to a service provider and the surface treatment and assembly have been transferred to subcontractors. Exel Sports operates in brand new facilities in Vantaa and we are in the process of recruiting new employees to further increase the efficiency of our operations.

It is true that the parent company Exel Oyj focuses on industrial operations. This has been made public both to the media and investors already some years ago. In that respect this is nothing new. Exel’s Sport Division was reorganized as the division’s profitability was seriously hampered by the problems on the German and Austrian Nordic Walking markets. The operating loss is mainly due to the reorganizations and the write-offs of stocks as has been published.

Nordic Walking has unfortunately grown to be too large a share of Sports’ net sales and therefore the impact on Exel’s profitability is also significant. A large amount of so-called cheap production poles entered the markets in Germany and Austria, and sports shops overestimated the demand compared to the actual development of the market. This resulted in an oversupply of poles. Retailers have now been able to sell off old stock. The German and Austrian markets are now stabilizing and the market is developing as usual. At the same time we are investing heavily on Nordic Walking activities in other countries. It is only a matter of time when a large market such as North America gets off to a good start. Exel has commercial activities in Nordic Walking in almost 40 countries.

According to the wildest rumours Exel is said to completely stop manufacturing Nordic Walking poles. I want to correct this as well. Tubes for Nordic Walking poles as well as for other poles and floorball sticks are being produced and will be produced also in the future at the Mäntyharju factory. The products are further processed by Exel Sports’ subcontractors and delivered to the market by Exel Sports, Exel’s subsidiaries and importers.

Exel has over 30 years’ experience of the sporting goods business, a strong brand and excellent products. It is not disappearing anywhere with the reorganizations. Operations are only being sharpened with a stand-alone company, Exel Sports Oy.

To end with, I would like to send regards from Sapporo Nordic World Championships, where Exel has had great success with its athletes.

Aki Karihtala
CEO of Exel Sports Oy
Senior Vice President of Exel plc. Sport Division
Tel. +358 50 590 6752, or email

About Us

Exel Oyj on komposiittisia urheiluvälineitä ja teollisuusprofiileja suunnitteleva, valmistava ja markkinoiva teknologiayritys. Exelin liiketoiminta muodostuu Sport- ja Teollisuus-liiketoiminnoista. Henkilöstön osaaminen ja korkea teknologian taso ovat avainasemassa Exel Oyj:n toiminnassa. Liiketoiminnan ytimen muodostaa itse kehitetty komposiittiteknologia, siihen perustuva tuotteisto ja valittujen markkinasegmenttien hallinta vahvalla laatu- ja tuotemerkki-imagolla. Jatkuva uusien sovelluskohteiden etsiminen ja kehitys yhteistyössä asiakkaiden kanssa mahdollistavat yrityksen kasvun. Exel panostaa valituille kapeille sektoreille sekä kannattavaan kasvuun. Exel Oyj is a technology company which designs, manufactures and markets composite sports equipment and industrial applications. Exel's operations comprise two divisions: Sport and Industry. The personnel's expertise and high level of technology play a major role in Exel's operations. The core of the operations is based on own, internally developed composite technology, product range based on it and the domination of selected market segments with a strong quality and brand image. The company's growth is based on permanent search of new applications and development in co-operation with customers. Exel concentrates on niche segments and on profitable growth.