HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands (BRAIN)—Strong sales of bicycles and parts and accessories propelled profits for the Accell Group in the first quarter of 2008.
Sales and profit increased during the first three months of the year as demand for bicycles in the higher segment, including electric bikes, remained strong, said René Takens, chairman of the executive board of Accell Group.
“Last year, the first months were particularly positive, due in part to the relatively high temperatures and dry weather. The fact that turnover and results are higher this year demonstrates the attractiveness of our top brands,” Takens said.
Takens also noted a positive contribution from German mountain biking brand Ghost, which Accell Group acquired on March 1.
The Ghost brand adds internationally recognized mountain and racing bikes to Accell’s portfolio, which also includes Batavus, Lapierre, Redline, Bremshey, Hai, Hercules, Koga-Miyata, Loekie, Mercier, Sparta, Staiger, Tunturi and Winora.
“It is expected that the recently completed acquisition will contribute to growth in 2008,” Accell Group said in an earnings press release issued on April 24.
Ghost generated $39.4 million in sales in 2007.
While Accell’s biking sector performed well in the first quarter, fitness equipment sales lagged in terms of expectations, the company said.
“This impact is relatively minor, as the fitness activities represent less than 10 percent of Accell Group’s total turnover,” the press release said.
In 2007, Accell reported a profit of 24.4 million euros, a jump of 33.3 percent from the previous year, and sales of 476.1 million euros, an increase of 10.3 percent from 2006.
Accell Group, the market leader in Europe for bicycles, has manufacturing plants in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, France and Hungary. It does 44 percent of its sales in the Netherlands, 21 percent in Germany, 11 percent in France, 14 percent in other European Union countries and 10 percent in Switzerland, the U.S. and Canada.