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Translated by
Nicola Mira
Mar 21, 2022
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Swiss sports brand On records robust growth in 2021

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Mar 21, 2022

On is aiming for the one billion target. The Swiss sport shoes and apparel brand posted a sales increase in excess of 70% in fiscal 2021, reaching a revenue of CHF725 million (€703 million), and has announced it is targeting “at minimum CHF990 million and a 13.1% adjusted EBITDA margin” for 2022.


In 2021, On recorded an increase of nearly 72% for its direct-to-consumer sales, which were worth CHF276 million, with its own e-shop generating 36% of the business. Sales in the wholesale channel increased by almost 70%, to CHF449 million.

The North America region was the most dynamic, virtually doubling its sales to reach nearly CHF410 million, therefore becoming the brand’s leading market. In this region, On operates a flagship in New York, and has entered Nordstrom department store with a shop-in-shop. The brand is set to deploy the same concept in 40 other department stores in 2022. Europe is On’s second-largest market, growing by 39% to CHF260 million, notably thanks to a 75% jump in the UK, while Asia-Pacific grew by 86% to CHF43 million.

On’s remains chiefly focused on footwear, which generated sales for CHF683 million, up by 68%, but its apparel revenue more than doubled, growing by 131% to reach CHF36 million. Accessories sales, up by 57%, remain negligible, producing a revenue of CHF5 million.

On’s gross margin improved from 54.3% in 2020 to 59.4% in 2021, but the company remains largely in the red after heavy investment related to its stock market listing last September. In fiscal 2021, On recorded a net loss of CHF170 million.

On’s successful 2021 was bolstered by the On Athletic Club initiative, which signed up high-profile athletes as ambassadors, like 5,000 m champion Hellen Obiri, and by a presence in some 60 countries. A success that is encouraging even more ambitious growth plans, with the brand’s senior management underlining that, despite supply chain disruption, the company recorded a sales growth of nearly 54% in Q4 2021.

“Our financial results in the fourth quarter are further validation of the very strong global demand for the On brand and our commitment to managing the company with a long-term, growth- and profitability-driven mindset. We achieved over 70% growth in net sales in 2021 while at the same time increasing our gross profit and adjusted EBITDA margin. We continued to see strong demand across all regions and product categories, with North America and China showing exceptional growth rates,” said Martin Hoffmann, co-CEO and CFO of On Running.

“With 2022 now under way, we are even more confident and excited about the global growth opportunities and the many new products that will allow our customers to move. Our production capacity in Vietnam has been back at 100% of the pre-lockdown commitments since December 2021. Overall, we are fast-tracking the capacity ramp-up plan this year, and leveraging our close relationship with all factory partners. This includes expansion into Indonesia, where we just started production in a new facility to diversify our production network,” added Hoffmann.

On also indicated it is little exposed to a Ukraine war backlash, its distributor in Russia generating, according to the company, a revenue of approximately CHF500,000.

For the current fiscal year, On is forecasting a 37% sales growth. To drive this result, On has announced several new initiatives, including the opening of a technology hub in Berlin, new US headquarters in Portland, and a new laboratory in its home town, Zurich. Most importantly, On is keen to boost its visibility by expanding its retail footprint.

On is already present in North America and China, where the management announced it will open new stores, and it is set to enter other Asian markets with its own monobrand stores - the first of them in Tokyo - but also in Europe, with new openings on the cards in London and Zurich.

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