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3rd Quarter Trading Update: E-MTBs Are Accell’s Ace

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HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands – Against the background of a European bike market which Accell Group’s CEO René Takens characterizes as slightly increasing in 2015, the holding company for numerous bike companies recorded continued growth. In the third quarter of this year Accell grew in virtually all countries and booked a higher result. E-MTBs in particular contributed to the strong results.

3rd Quarter Trading Update: E-MTBs Are Accell’s Ace
E-Mountaibikes like this one that Haibike presented at Eurobike are specifically named as THE category that saw strong growth in sales. – Photo Bike Europe

E-bikes as well as high-end sports bikes are again Accell’s main growth driver. E-Mountaibikes are specifically named as THE category that saw strong growth in sales. In particular the company’s German and French brands Haibike, Ghost and Lapierre contributed to the positive development of the holding company’s results.

Positive trends

On the company’s third quarter results CEO René Takens said, “The positive trends seen in the first half continued into the third quarter as well as in October. Our turnover and profits were up, due in part to the growing proportion of electric bikes and higher-end sports bikes in our sales. The e-bike market is dynamic in many European countries and we are seeing our sales increase in those markets. In the Alpine countries in particular, we are seeing strong growth in the sales of performance E-mountain bikes. Accell Group is trendsetter and market leader in this special category of electric bikes, which are sold under the brands HaiBike, Lapierre and Ghost. Based on these developments, we are expecting a growth in turnover and profit for the full year 2015.”

Markets moving

Asked what he means with a ‘dynamic e-bike market’ in many European countries, Takens said, “It means that these markets are finally moving. For years hardly anything happened in France, the UK or Italy with e-bikes. That situation changed.” This made that Accell’s turnover in electric bikes increased in virtually all European countries. For the US, Accell’s press release on the third quarter results says, “The market for electric bikes in the United States is growing but remains modest.”

Results of reorganizations

In the past years Accell has been working on reorganizations in various countries, like the bringing together of the bike production of Sparta and Batavus in one facility in the Netherlands. According to CEO Takens the reorganizations resulted in a drop in operating costs. On other financial indicators the Accell press release says, “Accell Group had a good product mix with higher levels of added value than in the same period of 2014. The US dollar exchange rate had a greater than usual impact on working capital. This is partly due to the conversion of inventories and receivables in dollar countries and partly due to an increase in the cost of components purchased in dollars. The earlier completed acquisitions of Comet (Spain) and CSN (Denmark) also contributed to the increase in working capital. To meet the growing market demand and thus facilitate organic growth, the number of more expensive bicycles in stock is higher than it was in the same period of 2014.”

Outlook

For the next month’s Accell expects an organic turnover growth and an increase in net profit. Also for the medium to long term the holding company’s outlook is positive, as it says, “There is a structurally healthy demand for bicycles for mobility, health and active sports purposes. This will continue to boost the sales of electric bikes and sports bikes, especially in the higher segment.” In 2014, Accell Group realized a profitable turnover of € 882 million. E-bike sales accounted for 41% (2013: 35%) of the holding’s overall turnover in bicycles.

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