Significant UK bike sales growth buoys Accell financials

Cycle division shrugs off global economic woes and poor weather with a solid performance
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Accell Group saw net profit rise nine per cent in the first half of 2010 to €24.1 million – from €22.1 million in the same period of 2009 – according to its latest financial statement.

Turnover also increased to three per cent (€342 million) compared to €333 million in the first half of '09 – due in part to minor acquisitions made by the firm.

The Accell Group revealed it had seen a significant rise in bicycle sales in the UK, Scandinavia, Austria and Spain in the first half of the year.

Bicycle and bicycle accessories turnover rose two per cent to €328.1m in the first half of the year, compared with €321.4 in the first half of 2009.

The number of bicycles sold (circa 580,000) and average price (€456 'ex-factory') remained relatively stable. Turnover of cycle parts and accessories rose 11 per cent to €64m.

BMX brand Redline buoyed sales in North America, leading Accell to state that the downturn in bicycle sales in the US has ended: “Turnover at SBS in North America rose primarily on the back of increased sales of the BMX brand Redline. The downturn in the sales of bicycles in North America seems to have come to an end. There is enormous interest in cycling and consumers are also buying new products.”

Accell's statement included more territory-specific details: “In the Netherlands, the long winter and the bad weather in May affected sales, in particular traditional bicycles. Also, there was a shift towards bicycles for special target groups. The sales of electric bicycles to consumers increased by approximately 10 per cent. Due to inventory reductions by dealers, Accell Group supplied dealers with less electric bikes than in the first half of 2009. The sales of repair parts rose substantially. Many consumers who did not buy a new bicycle had their existing bicycles repaired. The turnover development at Accell Group’s companies was in line with general market developments.

“Turnover increased in Germany, due in part to the acquisition of Batavus importer Bäumker in January of this year. The sales of electric bicycles were up in Germany because this product is relatively new to this market compared with the Netherlands. The sales of the innovative sports bicycles of Ghost, Hai Bike and Winora also increased. The turnover in bicycle parts and accessories developed well in Germany and France (from Germany).

“Sales of the French top brand Lapierre were up, primarily due to exports. The turnover in bicycles and bicycle parts for commercial city projects fell in the first half of this year, because there were relatively few new projects.

“In Scandinavia, the integration of Tunturi and Hellberg, which Accell Group acquired in June 2009, is virtually complete. The integrated organisation will make it easier for these companies to market their products. The bicycles of the acquired Hellberg (Nishiki brand) will also be sold in the Netherlands and Germany. Accell Group is currently examining further export possibilities for this brand. “

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