Favourable weather and the recovering economy helped Accell, owner of Raleigh, Haibike, Winora, Lapierre and Ghost, record strong financials in 2014.
Net profits were up 37 per cent to €26.1 million in 2014 (€19m in 2013). Turnover was up four per cent at €882.4m (€849m in 2013). Turnover was up eight per cent organically, largely driven by higher e-bike sales, the group said.
Turnover peaked in the Netherlands (€237m) followed by Germany (€198m) then North America (€117m). Rest of Europe hit €298m - in that category Great Britain is second only to France. In the UK, bike turnover was up ten per cent "largely due to Raleigh".
E-bikes accounted for the greater proportion of overall turnover and the average price of a bicycle increased to €377 (2013: €336). Sports bike turnover fell six per cent, due to "termination of deliveries to the mass market in the US". The number of bikes sold amounted to 1,725,000 (2013: 1,835,000).
P&A hit €211, up 5 per cent (€201m in 2013) with three per cent organic growth. Accell's own XLC brand saw a 17 per cent increase in turnover.
René Takens, Chairman of the Accell Group Board of Directors: "Accell Group had a good year in 2014, with favourable weather conditions and a slight improvement in the overall economic climate. The Dutch and German brands performed particularly well.
"While most markets remained stable or improved slightly, we were able to improve our turnover in virtually all the countries in which we are active, partly thanks to the popularity of our electric and sports bikes and the expansion of our parts & accessories business. North America was the only region in which turnover and profit lagged expectations. The group booked organic turnover growth of 8%, and this was the main driver of the improvement in operating result and net profit by 20% and 37% respectively.
"In the past year, we have focused on consolidation, integration and improved use of scale and efficiency benefits. The reorganisations in North America and the Netherlands are progressing as planned and will be completed in 2015. In addition, last year we also increased the emphasis on further development of our parts & accessories business. Our initial goal on this front is to create a comprehensive European network within the foreseeable future. The acquisition of Comet in Spain and the acquisition of Cycle Service Nordic (CSN) in Denmark, which we completed in early 2015, are very much in line with this strategy.
"Many long-term trends indicate that bicycles will remain highly popular in the years ahead, for mobility, recreational and sports purposes. We expect to remain a leader in this market thanks to our high-quality products and additional innovations to make cycling even more attractive for a range of purposes. On the basis of the underlying positive trends combined with the slightly improved macro-economic indicators driving consumer spending, and barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect a continued increase in turnover and result in 2015.”