The Accell Group of the Netherlands has reported a surge in sales and profits, partly on the back of eMTBs. Accell owns the Haibike brand of electric mountain bikes, as well as traditional bike brands such as Batavus. It also owns Raleigh, and in a financial statement it revealed that UK sales for Raleigh brand increased by 20 percent in 2015.
Accell made an operating profit of €58.5m in 2015, 33 percent higher than the €44.1m reported in 2014. Net profit was 22 percent higher at €32.3m in 2015. Turnover increased by 12 percent to € 986.4 million.
Turnover rose organically by 9 percent, largely on the back of higher electric bike sales, said Accell chairman René Takens:
"We recorded a solid increase in turnover and profit in 2015. The continuing growth in the sales of eMTBs in various European countries made a particularly strong contribution to this increase in the results. The largest growth was noted in Germany, where turnover now accounts for 23 percent of the total turnover."
He added: "In North America, the brands performed well among multi-sports clients, but the position with independent bike dealers has still not improved.
Takens also said the recently reported theft by an employee of money in Taiwan had an impact on the company's results.
"The investigation into this incident has yielded no new conclusions with respect to the estimated damage and we have included a one-off item of €4m in the 2015 figures."
He predicted that "cycling will continue to be highly popular for mobility, recreational and sports purposes in the years ahead. We expect to continue to be a frontrunner thanks to our high-quality products and we also expect to add new innovations to make cycling even more attractive for various purposes. Based on the positive underlying trends we expect a further growth of the turnover and results for 2016, barring unforeseen circumstances.”
Accell performed best in Germany, where sales were up by 16 percent. The average price per bicycle rose to € 437; in 2014 in had been € 377 – this is because of the higher price of electric bikes. Sales of electric bikes increased by 20 percent and now account for 45 percent of Accell's bicycle sales in Germany.
Perhaps surprisingly, Accell Group’s bicycle turnover in its home market of the Netherlands was down by 7 percent.
"The decline in the turnover was largely the result of the strong competition from e-bikes and the growth in popularity of other sales channels.
Accell Group’s sales in North America increased in the multi-sports channel, partly driven by the introduction of the Ghost brand from Germany. Sales via IBDs "lagged expectations", said a statement from Accell, and declined by 10 percent in dollar terms.
"Since the market for electric bicycles in North America remains limited, the increase in turnover in that segment was also limited," said the Accell financial statement.
In tune with the current theme of consolidation Accell said it woult "actively look for potential ways to increase its scale in 2016, both organically and via acquisitions that fit the group’s profile and brand portfolio.
It concluded: "Accell group expects the favourable underlying trends, combined with the improved macro-economic conditions and higher consumer confidence to have a positive impact on its results. In line with these expectations and barring unforeseen circumstances, Accell Group expects to record a further increase in turnover and results in 2016."