GPO Raises the Bar with Record 2020 Results
German Precision Optics (GPO GmbH & Co.) has been one of the fastest growing optics companies in Europe and in 2020 the company managed to exceed the lofty expectations it had for itself, Gun Trade World finds out why.
Despite the global pandemic and issues brought by COVID-19 the company, based in Inning, Germany, saw another record year for turnover and growth of more than 10 per cent. “With lots and lots of hard work, perseverance, luck, and dedication from our rapidly growing customer base, we were able to not only set a new record in turnover but also achieve more than 10% overall growth”. Commented GPO Business Development Manager Surujh Roopnarine. “We are extremely pleased with the results, especially knowing how difficult 2020 was for not only our industry but the global economy as a whole.”
One key point mentioned by GPO was that 2019 did see a significant shift in the types of products purchased. More than 60 per cent of their sales in 2020 were Passion ED or Passion HD binoculars. While in years past the split between riflescopes and binoculars were closer to 50/50, last year saw a definitive shift. “We saw a big move towards binoculars sales last year, which at first was surprising, but after consideration, makes a lot of sense. Many people, hunters, and non-hunters were restricted in their movements and travel, but generally could “escape” to nature. A quality pair of binoculars makes a world of sense for hiking, backyard birding, trekking, or general outdoor observation”. “Considering our Passion ED and Passion HD binoculars have developed a great reputation amongst serious hunters, it was evident that once the name and brand was more known to other users, that the demand and sales would pick up there as well.”
Several factors contributed to the growth and development for GPO, which was founded in 2015 by Richard Schmidt (former CEO of Zeiss Sports Optics) and run by executives from the Sports Optics industry.
Firstly, the company was able to focus expansion on key European markets such as Sweden, Finland, Italy, Belgium, and others where in the past these were covered by an exclusive OEM agreement. According to owner and founder Richard Schmidt, “In 2020 we were able to really push the GPO brand and business forward by establishing and building partnerships with some of the best and most progressive distributors and retailers in markets where quality, dependable optics play a key role”.
Secondly, the new GPO Spectra series of riflescopes made a lot of news throughout the year. A range of scopes designed and built to give more choice, versatility and price-performance value to European hunters and shooters, the launch was affected by COVID-19, but still was one of the most sought after and anticipated optics last year.
Also, GPO committed to and made happen an expansion to their own internal capacities. Upgrades to IT, staff and adding new, experienced salespeople to the GPO team in areas outside of hunting and shooting, helped grow the business immensely.
Finally, to close the year, GPO, which uses an extensive network of professional engineers, designers and experts in optical design, industrial design, and manufacturing, made serious efforts to increase their presence on social media by adding an in-house marketing specialist who will put into place a full platform of media which dealers and users can look forward to seeing in 2021. Combined with a growing stable of top-level brand ambassadors in several countries, the online and social media presence of GPO will soon be on par with the impressive array of products offered.
Speaking of 2021, according to GPO the growth and development will not stop or even slow down. New products are planned in areas which will make big waves in the industry as well as serve to compliment their already robust and diverse product portfolio.
GPO was founded by optical industry senior executives who have experienced how big brands increase profitability to support their massive production infrastructures. This corporate profitability structure normally results in increased consumer pricing or decreased product feature quality. We at GPO have a unique corporate structure that allows us to build higher-quality products with better features at similar prices or similar-quality products at better prices. Our products are built to our high-quality standards in some of the largest global production facilities in the world. All of our design, engineering, and quality management is done internally in Germany.