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Dorel Prioritizes Product Development

Published May 27, 2009

MONTREAL, Quebec (BRAIN)—Dorel Industries executives reiterated their goal of becoming a global leader in the bicycle industry while speaking to shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday morning.

Martin Schwartz, president and chief executive officer of Dorel, said he was pleased with the 8 percent organic growth its IBD brands reported in the first quarter of the year, especially with consumer demand shifting to a lower pricepoint product.

Dorel’s IBD brands include Cannondale, GT, Sugoi and some models of Mongoose and Schwinn. The Canadian company also owns Pacific Cycle and PTI, as well as a host of juvenile and home furnishing products. Dorel had a record year in 2008, posting more than $2 billlion in sales.

This year, Dorel is looking at cost cutting measures in the down economy, but product development is one area that won’t see any reductions, Schwartz said.

“We’ll be unveiling new Cannondale models in the coming months with truly unique features,” Schwartz said. “We’ve been working with an industry leading designer with the goal of making Cannondale the desired brand in bikes.”

Earlier this month, Cannondale introduced a new, lighter version of its Super Six road bike for 2010. At 900 grams, it’s the lightest Cannondale ever produced, Schwartz said. It will be available globally in July.

For the rest 2009, the situation in bikes remains unpredictable as consumer buying
patterns have been inconsistent, Schwartz said.

“As previously stated, we do not anticipate 2009 will be as profitable as 2008 but nor do we expect it to be anywhere nearly as negative as current market conditions suggest,” he said.

The company does not plan on making any acquisitions this year, and instead will focus on increasing cash flow and reducing expenses, according to Dorel chief financial officer Jeffrey Schwartz.

—Nicole Formosa

Topics associated with this article: Earnings/Financial Reports

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