HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (BRAIN) Feb 24, 09:25 MT— Strong sales of electric bikes and sports bikes drove a 9 percent increase in sales last year for the European bike giant, Accell Group.
Accell Group’s best-known brands are Batavus, Koga, Sparta, Winora, Hai Bike, Ghost, Lapierre, Atala, Redline, Tunturi and XLC. The company, traded on the NYSE Euronext market in Amsterdam, also owns the U.S. distributor Seattle Bike Supply.
Accell’s net profit for the year was up 11 percent to 40.3 million euros, helped by the sale of its shares in Derby Cycle, which was bought by Pon Holdings last year. Accell booked a profit of 16 million euros on the sale.
Electric bike sales now account for 31 percent of the bike sales for Accell. The category is particularly strong in Germany, the company said.
Bike parts and accessory sales were up 15 percent for the year, said CEO René Takens “While consumers are putting off new bicycle purchases, they are investing in the maintenance of their existing bicycles.”
In 2011 Accell took a 50 percent stake in Italy’s Atala, acquired Swedish distributor Vartex, Dutch titanium builder Van Nicholas and electric bike make Currie Technologies.
“We expect cycling to remain very popular in the coming years, with bicycles increasingly becoming a lifestyle product for consumers, especially for young people,” Takens said. “We are responding to this international trend. And thanks to investments in our strong brands, innovations, design and the geographical presence of our activities we can also respond rapidly to changes in the market. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we therefore expect a further increase in turnover and net operating result in 2012.”
Other highlights from Accell’s 11-page annual report:
• Accell Group sold 1,115,000 bikes last year, up from 949,000 in 2010. The number was bumped up by the acquisition of Turkish firm Accell Bisiklet and Swedish distributor Vartex.
• The average priced dropped to 417 euros ($561.5) from 449 euros ($604.6 million) in 2010 due to the addition of less expensive bikes to the line, in particular through Accell Bisiklet.
• Sales of e-bikes were up 21 percent.
• Sales of sport bicycles were up 23 percent.
• The greatest increase in sales came from Germany with a 26 percent jump in turnover of bikes and 16 percent in P &A. Poor summer weather in the Netherlands stymied sales there, and France suffered from a weak market.
• Sales in the U.S. remained stable and sales to Asia are still limited.