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2018 sales up 3% in Shimano bike segment

Published February 12, 2019

OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano is reporting a similar scenario as the rest of the industry: sales of complete bikes in North America declined last year in units, but increased in dollars thanks to a shift to more expensive models, including e-bikes.

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The company reported Tuesday that its 2018 sales through its bike segment were up 2.6 percent globally, to 277.24 billion yen ($2.51 billion). Operating income in the bike segment declined 0.3 percent, to 57.25 billion yen.

"In North America, retail unit sales of completed bicycles fell below the previous year’s level, but shifting to high-end models helped retail sales amount to stay at the same level as the previous year. Distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level," Shimano said in a statement Tuesday. 

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association reported recently that 2018 wholesale bikes sales by its members were down 10 percent in units over the previous year, but up 4 percent in dollars due to a heavier mix of more expensive bikes including e-bikes. 

Shimano reported that sales in Europe were "generally robust" thanks to sport e-bike sales and favorable weather. Sales in China were below the previous year, emerging markets were mixed, and sales in its home market of Japan were sluggish due to unseasonable weather, including typhoons. Sales of e-bikes are on the increase in Japan, however, the company noted. 

The company said its newest 105 Series road group was well received, as were its STEPS E7000/E6100 sport e-bike components. 

Across its divisions, Shimano reported full year sales of 348 billion yen, up 3.6 percent from 2017. Operating income was up 2.1 percent to 65.7 billion yen. 

For 2019, the company is forecasting a 4.9 percent increase in net sales, and an 11 percent increase in operating income.

Looking ahead, the company noted, "The economy in Europe threatens to decelerate if uncertainties such as the turmoil in Brexit negotiations and rising fiscal instability in Italy manifest themselves. In the U.S., vigorous personal consumption is expected to expand the economy, while there exists a concern that the pace of growth will slow down as the effect of the tax reduction fades off. In Japan, personal consumption is estimated to hold up well on the back of a good employment environment, which hopefully leads to a moderate economic recovery. However, the consumption tax increase may cast a shadow over consumer sentiment. In addition, there is a global concern over the impact of the U.S.-China trade issues on the economy."

Last year, Shimano bike sales were up 4 percent over 2016. 2016's sales, however, were down more than 17 percent from 2015, when Shimano's bike sales totaled 314 billion yen, a number the bike division hasn't reached since. 

Topics associated with this article: Earnings/Financial Reports

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