HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands – In the first half of 2009 Accell Group realised further growth in both turnover and profit. The main driving force behind the increase in revenues was again the e-Bike which contributed big to a 14% plus in turnover in Germany.
This was not only the biggest growth per country; also never before in the history of the Dutch holding company such advancement was scored in Germany.
During the first six months of 2009 Accell’s turnover was up 9% at € 333 million. The organic turnover growth was just over 7%, compared with 6% in the first half of 2008. Net profit was up 15% at € 22.1 million, from € 19.3 million in the first half of 2008, largely because of a further improved product mix.
“We continued to grow in the first half of the year and were also able to further improve our results”, says René Takens, Chairman of the Executive Board of Accell Group. “We are continuing to benefit from the sustained awareness among consumers of the environment, mobility, health and active leisure time. This means that also in the coming years, cycling will increase in popularity.”
“Consumer interest in our products remains high, especially for the electric and sports bicycles and the bicycles for special target groups in the middle and higher segments of the market. Barring unforeseen circumstances and further economic developments, we currently expect a higher turnover for the full year 2009 and an increase in net profit of around 10%.”
In the past six month sales of bicycle parts and accessories also increased. The turnover in the relatively small-scale fitness segment (only 3.3% of the group’s turnover) was down in the first six months of the year, partly due to the loss of a number of international distributors and decreasing demand from consumers.
(Amounts x € million)
||By product group
||Parts and accessories
|Other EU Countries
Turnover in the bicycles and bicycle parts & accessories segment in the first half of 2009 rose by 12% to € 321.4 million, from € 288.2 million in the first half of 2008. The number of bicycles sold increased slightly to 579,000, up from 573,000 in the same period of 2008. The change in the sales mix meant the average price increased to € 455, from € 413 in the first half of 2008.
The sale of electric bicycle sales had a particularly significant impact on that figure. Turnover in bicycle parts and accessories also increased. Some dealers that Accell Group supplies are experiencing pressure on their total turnover. Nevertheless, most dealers realised a higher turnover through the sale of electric bicycles in the first half of the year. Accell Group will focus even more on the growth segments that drive dealers’ sales.
In the Netherlands, the bicycle brands Batavus, Koga and Sparta once again had a good first half of the year. With a slight increase in the number of bicycles sold, turnover once again increased in the Netherlands. There was, however, a notable shift in the types of bicycles sold. Sales of bicycles without special characteristics in contemporary design or innovation (such as the traditional city bicycle) dropped. Sales of electric bicycles increased further, which had a somewhat adverse effect on comparable models without pedalling support. Sports bicycles and bicycles for special target groups also sold well.
In Germany, there is great interest in the bicycle as a potential solution to mobility and environmental issues. The considerable growth in electric bicycle sales shows that the interest in that product is also on the increase in Germany. Sports bicycles, such as those of Winora and Ghost, also saw increased sales. Sales growth of bicycle parts and accessories once again was healthy in both Germany and France.
In France, Accell Group experienced a good first half of the year with its international top brand Lapierre. This growth was realised in the domestic market and via exports, and both in the existing racing and ATB segment and the city and electric segment, introduced just this season.
Last June, Hellberg was acquired. With this acquisition, Accell Group has further strengthened its market position in Scandinavia. Combining the activities of Hellberg and Tunturi will create one of the most important suppliers of bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories and fitness equipment in Scandinavia. The acquisition has been financed without external financing and consolidation is effective as from the end of June 2009. It is expected that the acquisition will make an immediate contribution to Accell Group’s earnings per share.
Influenced by the economic developments in North America, turnover of bicycles at Seattle Bike Supply (SBS) in the US dropped in the first half of the year. Turnover of bicycle parts remained stable.
Due to the deterioration in economic conditions, turnover in the fitness segment in the past six months dropped to € 11.6 million, from € 17.7 million in the first half of 2008. The drop in turnover was partly the result of the loss of a number of international distributors who were no longer able to finance their purchasing in the current financial situation and for whom Accell Group also did not wish to increase credit limits.
Caption: Accell Groups board of directors (left to right): Hielke Sybesma (CFO), René Takens (CEO) and Jeroen Snijders-Blok (COO)