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Accell profits from nice spring in Europe

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HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands – The good spring weather in Europe and the ensuing increase in bicycle sales have pushed Accell Groups turnover and profit. In the first half of 2007 the net profit increased by 52% to 16.1 million compared with 2006. Turnover grew with 14% to 275 million. Ren Takens, Chairman of the Executive Board of Accell Group was very satisfied with the results he presented last Friday. He expects the full-year 2007

HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands – The good spring weather in Europe and the ensuing increase in bicycle sales have pushed Accell Groups turnover and profit. In the first half of 2007 the net profit increased by 52% to € 16.1 million compared with 2006. Turnover grew with 14% to € 275 million.

René Takens, Chairman of the Executive Board of Accell Group was very satisfied with the results he presented last Friday. He expects the full-year 2007 to show a further increase in turnover and a rise in net profit from ordinary operations of approximately 35%.

“I am particularly pleased with the 20% growth in sales in Germany”, said René Takens. "Our prospects for the remainder of the year remain positive. The international bicycle and fitness market is increasingly shifting from a commodity to a lifestyle market. We will therefore continue to put a strong emphasis on innovation, design and marketing of our products.”

The continuing demand for electric bikes and the strong increase in sales in Germany, together with the nice weather, resulted in organic turnover growth of 10% for Accell Group. The remaining 4% turnover growth is the result of the acquisition of Brasseur (Belgium) in the 2nd quarter of 2007 and the effects of consolidating Webena Sport (the Netherlands) and Seattle Bike Supply (United States), both of which were acquired in 2006.

In the 1st half of 2007, sales of bicycles and bicycle parts increased by 15% to € 256.3 million, from € 223.3 million in the 1st half of 2006. The number of bicycles sold increased to 561,000, from 540,000. The increase in turnover of bicycles mainly relates to ore sales in the higher market segment. Some 77% of the turnover comes from the sale of bicycles.

On the Dutch market, Accell Group was able to respond effectively to the higher demand with higher stock levels from the beginning of the year.

In Germany, bicycle sales of Winora and Hercules increased strongly. In the first half, it was decided to combine the activities of Winora and Hercules. The sales organisations will continue to function independently, but the back office activities will be integrated.

Despite a higher contribution from Lapierre, turnover in France dropped due to the previously announced cessation of sales of Mercier to hyper markets. In addition, bicycles are produced at Mercier for the French company JC Decaux, which develops bicycle projects for cities.

Higher turnover was also realised in Belgium, Denmark and Austria. In the 2nd quarter, Accell Group acquired Brasseur, a trading company in bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories in the French-speaking part of Belgium. Brasseur already contributed to the profit in the 1st half of the year. In Hungary, the doubling of production capacity was completed early this year.

Seattle Bike Supply (SBS) in the United States recorded good progress as expected. The turnover in bicycle parts and accessories in North America has increased further.

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