Accell Group SpA of the Netherlands reported earnings at its Bicycle, Parts and Accessories (BP&A) segment, excluding acquisitions, fell 18 percent as the dour economic outlook and unseasonably wet weather dampened demand for non-sport bikes in its native market and France.
Europe largest bicycle vendor reported BP&A sales reached €436 million ($566 mm) in the first half, up 20.1 percent from the first half of 2011, but the growth came mostly from Raleigh Cycle, Currie Technologies and Van Nicholas, which were acquired during the first half. Lower revenue in the Netherlands and France was offset by higher revenue in Asia and Germany, where sales of e-bikes remains robust.
The acquisition of the U.K.-based Raleigh, which greatly expanded Accell’s foothold in the United States, boosted the number of bikes sold to 942,000 from 709,000 in the first half of 2011, while reducing the average sales price to €352, from €410 in 2011.
In organic terms, BP&A earnings fell almost 18 percent to €37 million, from €45 million in the first half of 2011 as the company sold fewer bikes and had to discount more of the ones it sold.
Sales of electrical bicycles increased by 15 percent (15 percent organic), due largely to substantial growth in Germany. Sales in sports bikes was up 25 percent (5 percent organic), while sales of traditional bikes were up 3 percent (-16 percent organic).
In the Netherlands, Accell’s bike sales fell approximately 13 percent, indicating the company’ picked up market share, since preliminary estimated indicate bicycle sales in the country as a whole declined by more than 20 percent. By contrast Accell’s parts and accessories sales rose approximately 6 percent. The company said consumer confidence in the Netherlands had reached a historic low.
In Germany, by contrast, Accell’s bike sales increased 11 percent, or more than twice as fast as the overall market, thanks to 50 percent growth of the e-bike market. The sales of the innovative sports bikes under the Ghost, Haibike and Winora brands also increased. Turnover in bicycle parts and accessories remained stable.
In France, Accell Group’s third largest market, bike sales dropped 11 percent in line with the overall market. Accell attributed the decline to lower consumer spending and delayed deliveries by suppliers. BP&A sales grew by more than 15 percent.