Swiss group Calida has recently completed its acquisition of German lingerie brand Erlich Textil. The acquisition, which was finalized in February, sees Calida acquiring a 90% stake in Erlich Textil. Erlich Textil is well-known for its sustainable underwear made from high-quality organic and recyclable fabrics. The founders of Erlich Textil, Sarah Grohé and Benjamin Sadler, will continue to lead the company. In 2021 alone, Erlich Textil generated €7 million in revenue.

This acquisition not only strengthens Calida’s position in the sustainable fashion segment but also expands its presence in the e-commerce sector. Erlich Textil operates as a digital pure player, exclusively selling its products through its own online store. Calida sees this as a valuable opportunity to tap into the growing e-commerce market.

The acquisition of Erlich Textil is part of Calida’s broader strategy, known as ‘Accelerate 2026,’ which was presented in November 2021. This strategy focuses on driving growth and innovation in the lingerie market. As part of this strategy, Calida has divested from other sectors, including selling sportswear brands Eider and Oxbow. It has also terminated the Killy license and sold the Millet and Lafuma brands. However, Calida still maintains a presence in the outdoor furniture business through its ownership of Lafuma Mobilier, which specializes in camping and outdoor furniture.

Calida, founded in 1941 in Sursee, Switzerland, is a company with over 1,000 employees worldwide. The majority of its production, 80%, is done in-house in Hungary. The group sources its textiles from Switzerland, Austria, and southern Germany, accounting for 75% of its output. In 2021, Calida achieved a revenue of CHF 298 million (€283.7 million), representing a 19.2% increase net of currency effects. The company’s adjusted operating income reached a record-breaking CHF 24.3 million (€23.1 million), a 43% increase compared to 2020. Calida’s online sales also experienced significant growth, increasing by 26.7% to CHF 80.2 million (€76.4 million), making up 27% of the group’s total sales.

All of Calida’s brands performed strongly in 2021, surpassing their pre-pandemic revenue levels. Calida’s sales increased by 12.8% to CHF 152.7 million (€145.4 million), while Aubade contributed CHF 72.2 million (€68.7 million), growing by 28.8%. Lafuma Mobilier’s revenue also increased by 27% to CHF 58.8 million (€55.9 million). These positive results have led the board of directors to recommend a 25% increase in the group’s ordinary dividend for the upcoming shareholders’ meeting in April.

Looking ahead, Calida plans to distribute at least 50% of its normalized cash flow to shareholders, with regular increases each year. This reflects the company’s commitment to delivering value to its shareholders while continuing to invest in its growth and innovation strategies.

The acquisition of Erlich Textil marks a significant step in Calida’s strategic shift towards the lingerie sector. With its focus on sustainability and digital channels, Erlich Textil aligns well with Calida’s long-term goals. As the company continues to strengthen its position in the lingerie market, it will be interesting to see how Calida’s ‘Accelerate 2026’ plan unfolds and what further acquisitions or collaborations it may pursue to drive its growth in the coming years.

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