HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands – The poor summer of 2011 is leaving its traces in the financial results of Accell Group NV. In today’s published report on the first nine months of the year, the holding of companies like Batavus, Winora, Atala and Accell Bisiklet announces that: “The total sales of new bicycles in some major markets has lagged behind expectations. This is largely due to bad weather in Europe during the summer months. This made that for a number of Accell Group companies there’s a higher level of inventory at season’s end.”
Accell Group also states in its report on the financial results during the first nine months of the year: “The total discount required to sell these stocks is therefore higher and has led to pressure on operating margins. There’s also a slower sales-start of the new bike collections for 2012. This is due to the overall macro-economic developments, which make that dealers remain cautious and less willing to build and finance stocks. They count on good availability from suppliers."
Despite these third qaurter developments, Accell Group reiterates its forecast for the full-year results 2011 of a higher turnover and increase in result compared with 2010. René Takens, CEO of Accell Group: “Turnover of bicycles in recent months remained below expected levels due to the bad weather during the summer months and general economic conditions.The effects vary per country. In Germany demand continued to be strong – with growing popularity of electric bikes and innovative sports bikes – and the market grew. Market developments in the other countries remained weak.”
Moreover Takens says: “This years result is strongly influenced by a number of (material) non-recurring items.We are dealing with previously announced one-time additional costs due to scaling back of the fitness activities and an unexpected setback concerning the set (Dutch competition authority, editors note) NMa-fine in connection with a case that goes back to mid 2000. In contrast to these one-time costs, we have realized a substantial book profit on the sale of our stake in Derby Cycle which more than compensates the mentioned one-time costs.” In October Accell Group sold its 22% stake in Derby Cycle. The sale of the shares resulted in a book profit of approximately € 17 million.
The holding company reports further that its new bicycles collections for 2012 presented in September has been well received by the majority of dealers. “The medium to long term outlook remains positive. There is a good structural demand for bicycles for mobility, health and active sports. In particular, the sales of electric bikes and sports bikes in the upper segment continue to promote. In the economic field, however, the situation, especially in Europe is very uncertain, so estimates are difficult to make.”