Dorel Unveils Growth Plans for its Performance Apparel Division
Montreal, Quebec - 10/6/2009
Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) today announced a number of initiatives to further grow its Performance Apparel Division within the Company’s Recreational/Leisure segment. The newly named Apparel Footwear Group (AFG) will incorporate SUGOI Performance Apparel as well as the apparel lines of Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, Iron Horse and Mongoose – in both custom and its regular offerings. Plans include an investment in new equipment, facilities and additional employees.
A key component will be the expansion of one of Dorel’s recently created centres of excellence. As of January 2010, SUGOI’s operations will relocate to a 70,000 square foot facility in Metro-Vancouver.
“An important focus of AFG will be to build the custom apparel business -- developing specific riding and running uniforms for teams and clubs. The new Vancouver facility will allow SUGOI to increase custom apparel capacity and offer lead times well above industry standards. We’ve barely scratched the surface in this expanding market and expect SUGOI to triple its custom apparel business within five years,” stated Robert P. Baird, President of Dorel’s Recreational/Leisure segment.
Apparel industry veteran tapped to head up AFG
Chris Fuentes, who has almost 30 years in sales and marketing, many in the apparel sector, will be AFG’s President. He began his career on the professional tennis circuit where he spent five years with sports celebrities, sponsors, media and brands, all of which helped shape his marketing expertise.
Subsequently he was based in Dusseldorf, London and New York working in sales and marketing with Time International, gaining further insight into building global brands. He then held senior positions with a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel. In his most recent position with this organization Chris led all brand marketing, communication and promotion of retail, wholesale and licensing worldwide for the $1 billion Nautica lifestyle brand with 40 product categories in 70 countries.
Chris is a passionate cyclist, tennis player, sometimes golfer and an active supporter of A Better Chance, a charity that enables underprivileged, gifted minorities a chance to succeed via superior education.
“This is another example of Dorel’s strong commitment to this business. We are confident that this latest investment and new direction will allow AFG to grow exponentially by providing quality performance apparel with a variety of silhouettes, textiles, features and designs to match each brand’s market position,” concluded Mr. Baird.
Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) is a world class juvenile products and bicycle company. Established in 1962, Dorel creates style and excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company’s lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel’s powerfully branded products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and Bébé Confort in Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, Iron Horse and SUGOI in Recreational/Leisure. Dorel’s Home Furnishings segment markets a wide assortment of furniture products, both domestically produced and imported. Dorel is a US$2.2 billion company with 4700 employees, facilities in eighteen countries, and sales worldwide.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of Dorel Industries Inc. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. The business of the Company and these forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from expected results. Important factors which could cause such differences may include, without excluding other considerations, increases in raw material costs, particularly for key input factors such as particle board and resins; increases in ocean freight container costs; failure of new products to meet demand expectations; changes to the Company’s effective income tax rate as a result of changes in the anticipated geographic mix of revenues; the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, and settlements for product liability cases which exceed the Company’s insurance coverage limits. A description of the above mentioned items and certain additional risk factors are discussed in the Company’s Annual MD&A and Annual Information Form, filed with the securities regulatory authorities. The risk factors outlined in the previously mentioned documents are specifically incorporated herein by reference. The Company’s business, financial condition, or operating results could be materially adversely affected if any of these risks and uncertainties were to materialize. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.