HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands (BRAIN)—Accell Group saw a good start in the first quarter of the year as sales and profit both increased from 2008, according to René Takens, chairman of the executive board of Accell Group.
“So far, we are still seeing clear evidence that, weather allowing, the bicycle remains a popular means of transport, even in these economically challenging times, and that consumers are willing to spend money on it,” Takens said, who made his comments last Thursday in advance of a shareholders’ meeting.
“The use of bicycles continues to increase. Bicycles are an affordable alternative to car-use for short trips and promote a healthy physique. The demand for electric and sports bicycles in the higher segment remains strong. Bicycles for special target groups with a particular functionality or a special design are also popular. We continue to expect a further increase of turnover and profit in 2009.”
Accell Group owns more than a dozen bike brands like Batavus, Lapierre, Redline and Ghost.
Accell Group also noted a rise in sales of bicycle parts and accessories as more consumers look to fix up existing bikes instead of buying new ones. Sales of fitness equipment were down in the first months of the year, compared to the same period in 2008. Fitness equipment makes up just 7 percent of Accell Group’s overall annual sales.
The growth in bicycle sales and profit was both organic and due to the effects of consolidation of acquisitions made in 2008. The first months of 2009 show that the trends from which Accell Group benefits like increasing awareness of health and recreation continue in its markets.
Accell Group maintains its expectation that turnover and profit will increase compared with 2008, barring further economic developments and unforeseen circumstances.
Accell Group will publish earnings results for the first half of the year on July 22.