Polar Announce Redundancies
Polar today announced that it will begin change negotiations for all personnel in Finland. The negotiations intend to reduce the headcount equivalent by 140 (15%).
The company’s communications director, Pauliina Sjölund, said by email that the necessary savings will primarily be made through layoffs.
According to Sjölund, demand for Polar products dropped significantly last year. Unfortunately, the same situation appears to have continued into early 2023, prompting today’s move.
Sjölund also said that positive financial signs have been seen from Polar’s fledgling initiatives, such as algorithm licensing but these are insufficient to curtail the planned actions.
We have to take immediate corrective measures to secure the future of our business [Sjölund]
The change negotiations will begin on Monday, March 20 and will last at least six weeks.
Polar Electro, which manufactures heart rate monitors and other sports instruments, was founded in 1977 in Kempele. According to the 2021 financial statements, the Polar Group employed 1,146 people in 20 countries with a turnover of €152.5m (2021).
Source: Kalev via MBaxter
Today’s news comes as no surprise and is very much in line with redundancies we have seen announced elsewhere in the endurance sports industry. Although most so far have been cycling-related whereas perhaps Polar could be viewed more as a running and fitness company.
Only last week we heard fairly solid rumours that Polar might launch a Wear OS watch on Google’s mobile software platform. That is a positive sign that Polar is probably still large enough to weather the upcoming financial storm but smaller companies may struggle even more.
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