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Shimano Records Small Net Sales Growth in First Half Year

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Shimano Records Small Net Sales Growth in First Half Year
What Shimano’s first half year results make clear is that it faces more and strong competitors in e-bike parts compared to that for regular bicycle components. – Photo Shimano

OSAKA, Japan – In its report on the financial results made in the first half year of 2019 Shimano names specifically its STEPS e-bike drive system as one of the growth drivers, next to disc brake components for high-end road bikes. However, despite e-bikes’ double digit sales growth in many European countries in 2018, which most likely continued in the first half of this year, this trend did not push up Shimano’s results with big percentages.

Shimano saw its net sales in bicycle components increase by 4.1 percent in the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period of the previous year. Sales totaled JPY 143,599 million (1,187m euro) while the company’s operating income decreased 3.0 percent to JPY 28,613m (236.5m euro).

More and stronger e-bike parts competitors

What Shimano’s first half year results make abundantly clear is that the world’s biggest bicycle components maker is confronted with not only many more competitors but also stronger competitors within the market for e-bike parts compared to that for regular bicycle components. This is evidenced for instance by the results of Europe’s biggest e-bike maker Accell Group. In the first half of this year this company sold 16 percent more e-bikes compared to the year before which pushed up its turnover in e-bikes by 47 percent. Accell’s overall net sales upped 8.8 percent in the first half of 2019. This was pushed in particular by growing e-bike sales in various other European countries, apart from in the Benelux and DACH countries.

All this raises the question how much the STEPS e-bike parts contribute to the total turnover in bicycle components from Shimano Inc. Unfortunately, the overview of the financial results booked in the first half year does not provide the answer to that question.

World sales overview

In its comments on the financial results Shimano states on its bicycle components sales “In Europe, good weather conditions from the beginning of spring supported favourable retail sales of completed bicycles, mainly sport e-bikes, and distributor inventories of bicycles in Europe remained at an appropriate level.

“In North America, although total retail unit sales of completed bicycles had been sluggish from the start of the year, the sales amount remained at the same level as the previous year due to improved weather from the latter half of March and also owing to a favorable sales environment, mainly for high-end bicycles. Distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level.

“In China, retail sales of completed bicycles showed no clear signs of recovery, and sales continued to lack vigor. Meanwhile, distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level.

“With regard to the other emerging markets, in South America, the Brazilian market continued to recover, while the Argentine market remained stagnant due to the effects of currency depreciation. Distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level except for the Argentine market.

“In the Japanese market, despite overall good weather conditions, sales of high-end sports bicycles were sluggish. Meanwhile, as the shift to sports-type cross bike and e-bikes for commuting to work and school further progressed, unit sales decreased, but sales unit prices increased. Distributor inventories were slightly high.

“Under these market conditions, disc brake components for high-end road bikes and the Shimano STEPS sport e-bike components were well received in the market in continuation from the previous year.”

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