TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN)—Last year was a bad one for the Taiwanese bike business, according to financial results reported to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. However, sales for 2009, while off the heady 2008 sales results, are still substantially above 2007.
Giant reports its sales were $517.4 million, down 9 percent from last year’s sales of $567.2 million. Merida reports sales of $39.8 million, down 23 percent from last year’s $51.5 million. Component makers Lee Chi and Kenda were both down 24 percent, with sales of $34.6 million and $144.2 million respectively.
Over at Ideal corks were flying as the company grew its sales 20 percent to $110.9 million while its competitors floundered. Ideal was helped by new business with Cannondale and others. In 2008 Ideal had $92.6 million in sales. At the end of the third quarter Idea’s business was 46 percent over the first nine months of 2008, but its growth slowed sharply falling 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Business for Giant and Merida was especially hard hit over the fourth quarter, with business slowing at a faster pace towards as the year drew to a close. This may be partly explained by U.S. suppliers throttling back on imports given high levels of inventory. Given the big freeze that settled over Europe and the United States in January, Taiwan bike builders' largest markets, they may also start off the year slow.