HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands (BRAIN)—Accell Group posted a 17-percent growth in profits in 2008 due to strong sales of bicycles, a better product mix and the acquisition of Ghost, according to a year-end earnings report released last Friday.
The Dutch bicycle and fitness company reported profits of 28.6 million euros compared with 24.4 million euros in 2007.
Accell racked up 538 million euros in sales last year—up 13 percent from 2007—the majority of which took place in Germany and The Netherlands. Strong sales in those two countries helped offset a decrease in France, which was due to the end of deliveries to hypermarchés (grocery store/department store combination).
Accell sold 974,000 bikes last year, up from 943,000 the year before. E-bikes performed particularly well with 40 percent more units sold in 2008 than 2007.
Sales in the bicycle division, which includes the Lapierre, Batavus, Ghost, Redline, Koga and Sparta brands, among others, came in at $498.6 million euros, an increase of 16 percent from the year before.
René Takens, chairman of the executive board of Accell Group, credited the company’s success to the persistence of the social and demographic trends from which Accell Group benefits.
“Increasing awareness of health, the environment, the aging population and mobility means that for more and more people cycling has become an integral part of their daily life. Moreover, cycling is a relatively affordable alternative for other forms of mobility. Cycling will increase in popularity, and this is correlated to bicycle sales.
“We also see this reflected in our order portfolio for the new cycling season, which is at a higher level than last year. Based on the sustainable trends and the current order portfolio we now expect a further increase of turnover and results in 2009, barring further economic developments and unforeseen circumstances,” Takens said.
For more on Accell Group’s 2008 performance and the outlook for 2009, read the April 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.