VAN NUYS, CA (BRAIN)—Strong sales of Easton cycling components and wheels drove a sales increase of 6.4 percent in Easton Bell Sports’ action sports segment during the final quarter of 2010, according to the company’s year-end financial results released on Thursday.
Action sports, which comprises the Easton, Bell, Blackburn and Giro brands both for the specialty and mass channels, increased $4.9 million in the fourth quarter compared with the same time period in 2009.
That was due to double-digit growth in cycling helmets and accessories in the mass market, as well as increased sales of Easton components to OEMs and at specialty retail, said Paul Harrington, CEO of Easton Bell Sports. The fourth quarter performance was also due to strong fill-in orders for snow sports helmets and goggles, Harrington said.
Margins in the segment were up 180 basis points due to a favorable mix of cycling helmets and accessories and favorable currency exchange rates, partially offset by unfavorable sales of cycling components, he said.
The action sports category ended the year up 5.1 percent, or $16.7 million, over 2009.
So far in 2011, Easton Bell has seen strong pre-season bookings for helmets and other accessories, and is looking for success with its new line of Giro cycling shoes, which will be available next month at retail.
“We feel this is an important category extension for the Giro brand and the cycling market, and one that is poised to capture share from our competition,” Harrington said.