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Shimano sales up 26% in first half

Published July 30, 2015
Bike-related sales were up nearly 30 percent.

OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano Inc. sales were up nearly 26 percent in the first half this year, to 197 billion yen ($1.6 billion) worldwide.

Net earnings were up 76 percent, to 37 billion yen, according to the company's unaudited first-half financial report, released this week.

Bicycle-related sales accounted for 80 percent of the company's business in the first half, followed by fishing (19 percent) and other business (0.1 percent). Bike sales were the strongest of the three divisions, recording a net sales increase of 29.7 percent, while fishing was up 9.8 percent and other business was down 5.2 percent.

The company said a solid economy in the U.S. contributed to the results, as did the continued depreciation of the yen, which makes Japanese-made goods relatively affordable. Shimano had recorded a 30 percent sales increase in the first quarter this year.

"Europe and North America experienced virtually no decline in demand despite somewhat unsettled weather during the first half," the company said. "Reflecting growing interest in the use of bicycles in society, retail sales in the first half were brisk. As a result, distributor inventories in Europe remained virtually at the appropriate level and those in the U.S. were slightly lower than the appropriate level."

The company noted that in Japan, sales of sports bicycles remained robust, but "retail sales of community bicycles have been weak, greatly affected by the impact of price increases resulting from the depreciation of the yen, and distributor inventories of community bicycles remained somewhat high."

Sales of sports bicycles in China also decreased compared to the first half of 2014. Shimano noted that Chinese distributors have maintained an appropriate level of bike inventory despite the softened market. 

The company did not release regional sales figures.

The company said "full-model changes of Deore XT and Acera mountain bike components and Tiagra road bike components were well received and order-taking was brisk."

The company has revised its fiscal year forecasts up from estimates released in late April. In the prior forecast, Shimano had called for a 7 percent sales increase for the year. Now it's calling for an 8 percent increase, to net sales of 360 billion yen and forecast operating income of 77 billion yen. It said it is closely watching the European economy, in particular, given the Greek debt crisis and its possible effect on currencies. It said it expects consumer spending to remain strong in the U.S.

"In these circumstances, the Shimano Group, while closely monitoring economic trends in Japan and overseas, is endeavoring to further enhance management efficiency. We will take the lead in the creation of new cycling culture and new sport fishing culture," the company said.

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