Accell Group N.V. said revenues grew by 11% and profits by 20% in the first half of 2008 due to sales of higher end bicycles and its acquisition of Ghost Mountainbikes. Revenues reached 306 million ($467.9mm), thanks to organic growth of 6%, down from 10% in the first half of 2007. Still, the improved product mix caused net profit from ordinary operations to rise to 19.3 million ($29.5 mm), up 20% from 16.1 million ($21.4 mm).
High demand for high-end bikes, including electric bikes and sporting bikes, boosted operating margins by 70 basis points to 9.9%, said René Takens, chairman of the Executive Board of Accell Group. In the first half of 2008 unit sales of bicycles rose just 2.1% to 573,000 from 561,000 in the same period a year ago. The company said it did appear that electric bike sales cut into conventional bike sales.
In the U.S., Accell said revenues at its Seattle Bike Supply (SBS) operation continued to grow. Distribution of Lapierre via the SBS dealer network grew. The export of the SBS brand Redline (BMX bicycles) to Europe, however, remains limited.
Takens said the Dutch company was benefiting from an increased awareness of health, environmental and energy concerns.