The German ski brands Marker and Völkl entered a new fiscal year with good expectations, following a year of firming up their positions as top producers and expanding their share in some markets.

Völkl earned a solid 13% share of the global market in 2009 and ranked fourth in terms of value in a comparison of international ski makers. Among binding producers, Marker took second place on the global stage with a slight increase to 29% in its market share.

Both Völkl and Marker could increase their turnovers in key markets. There have been positive signs from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Japan, Scandinavia and Spain this season. In the US, far and away the highest volume market, Völkl ranks second while Marker is the market leader.

Accordingly, the management team is looking confidently to the 2010-11 season. "We expect the positive trend to continue. We undertook some important steps to lay the groundwork for this last year: a promising new alliance with Dalbello; an expansion of our environmental commitment; even more premium "Made in Germany" innovations - and we'll continue to follow that path. In 2010 we intend to expand our investments in new productions, technologies and marketing by over 10%," said Dr. Christopher Bronder, President of the Marker Völkl Group.

Key highlights for the coming season include two technical innovations for the RACETIGER series of racing skis: SPEEDWALL, a speed-bumping tuning for the ski's sidewall, and PSi, individualized adjustment of the ski's handling at the ski shop - awarded the ispo European ski Award 2010 for the model Racetiger RC PSi. Highlights in the binding area include SQUIRE, the lightest freeride binding on the market, and TOUR, Marker's first pure touring ski binding. It combines low weight with excellent skiing characteristics, and the robustness for which Marker is known – German engineering with impressive styling and winner of the ispo Outdoor Award 2010.

The free-ski models for 2010-11 stand out for their high-value technology and attractive designs. The product family is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and has become one of the motors of success for the company. Völkl is the only manufacturer to successfully transfer its alpine racing tradition into an authentic brand for a young, trend-oriented community. The program is rounded off with winter sports garments under the Völkl Performance Wear label – athletic outfits combining top functionality with fashionable design.

At the same time, growth opportunities and synergies are the objective of a new strategic alliance initiated by the Marker Völkl management team. On Jan. 1, 2010 the Marker Völkl Group kicked off a significant international partnership with Dalbello. The Italian company is the world's biggest independent ski boot specialist. The collaboration will commence with shared distribution for several core markets. The companies also hope to harness additional synergies through a close collaboration in product development as well as marketing and PR. Said Bronder: "The partnership will help secure our position on the world market even further and make us even more competitive overall. In Dalbello we have gained a highly motivated, ambitious and innovative partner."

—Regina Henkel