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Chain Reaction Reports $20m Profit in '10

Published September 27, 2011

BALLYCLARE, Ireland (BRAIN)—Irish online retailer Chain Reaction Cycles reported pre-tax profits of 13.3 million British Pounds ($20. 8 million) last year and sales of 109.4 million pounds ($171 million), according to British media reports.

Both the BBC and the Belfast Telegraph quoted financial statements pinpointing Chain Reaction Cycles’ growth in profit to 13.3 million pounds last year, up from 8 million pounds ($12.5 million) in 2009. Turnover rose 40 percent to 109.4 million pounds ($171 million) in 2010 and 75 new employees were recruited.

Orders grew from 900,000 in 2009 to 1.3 million last year, and average spend per order increased to nearly 84 pounds ($131).

Company directors are optimistic about the future, according to the Belfast Telegraph report.

“The cycling industry is currently in good shape, benefiting from a positive image and technological advances despite very difficult economic circumstances elsewhere,” the directors’ report was quoted as saying.

The report also said emerging markets would be targeted for future growth.

Chain Reaction’s website gets about 1.5 million hits a month. The company ships 35,000 parcels per week making it Royal Mail’s largest customer in Northern Ireland, and Parcel Forces’ largest export account.

The family owned business was started in 1985 by George and Janice Watson as a small storefront in Ballynure, Northern Ireland. It grew into a mail order business and transitioned online in 1999. In August, Chain Reaction opened a 10,000 square foot retail shop in Belfast to complement its online business. Operations are now run by the Watsons’ son, Chris.

To read a Q and A with Chris Watson from BRAIN’s October issue, click on the link above.

—Nicole Formosa

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