Shimano reported revenues rose 22.2 percent to ¥333.17 billion ($2.78 bn) in its year ended Dec. 31, from ¥271.0 billion a year ago. Net income jumped 46.0 percent to ¥51.2 billion ($427.3 mm).

Operating income increased 57.5 percent to ¥65,816 million ($549.5 mm).  

Bicycle Components
In its Bicycle Components segment, sales increased 26.1 percent from the previous year to ¥273.96 billion ($2.29 bn), and operating income increased 57.0 percent to ¥62.0 billion ($517.9 mm).  

In Europe, a major market for Shimano products, retail sales continued to be buoyant following the mild winter, and distributor inventories were relatively low, the company said in its earnings release. In North America, which experienced an extremely harsh winter, despite a delay in the e commencement of sales, retail sales were generally brisk from spring onward and comparable to the level in a typical year. As a result, distributor inventories were within an appropriate range. In Japan, despite a severe winter, retail sales of sports bicycles and mid-range and high-grade community bicycles were robust even after the consumption tax increase.  

The Chinese market was strong, as sales of sports bicycles continued to grow and a shift to high-grade bicycles was also apparent. Sales growth of sports bicycles in other emerging markets with growth potential was also robust.

In these market conditions, against a backdrop of rising expectations in view of promising market trends from the next fiscal year onward, order-taking was brisk as Shimano products were relatively affordable because of the depreciation of the yen. Moreover, sales of new models released in 2014, including XTR, which are Shimano’s finest mountain bike components, Alivio casual mountain bike components, Tourney TX entry-level mountain bike components, 105 road bike components, and disk brakes for road bikes, were buoyant.

Fishing Tackle segment

In the Fishing Tackle segment, sales rose 10.2 percent to ¥58.8 billion ($491.0 mm), and operating income jumped 64.0 percent to ¥3.94 billion ($32.9 mm).  

The Japanese market got off to a smooth start thanks to stable weather from the New Year onward and longer – than – usual holidays. However, subsequently, the Japanese market lost momentum temporarily, affected by heavy snowfalls. Consumption stalled due to typhoons and heavy rains and a hike in gasoline prices and other commodity prices over the summer and the autumn.

In these market conditions, Shimano exceeded the previous year’s sales result because demand for high – grade products increased before the consumption tax increase in Spring and new products, including New Stella, were highly regarded in the market. Overseas, sales in North America were robust for the full year because the weather was generally mild despite the unsettled weather in the first quarter and the launch of new products had a positive impact. In Asia, sales were also robust despite a slowdown in economic growth.”  

Looking ahead, the Shimano Group forecasts net sales of ¥355 billion yen, an increase of 6.6 percent from the fiscal year 2014; operating income of ¥73.5 billion yen, an increase of 11.7 percent; ordinary income of ¥73.5 billion yen, an in crease of 3.5 percent; and net income of ¥53 billion yen, an increase of 3.4 percent.

Shimano's full statement is here.