Surging sales of electric bicycles in Europe boosted revenues for the Dutch company behind Haibike, Lapierre, Batavus, Raleigh and many other bike brands. Its turnover picked up pace in the second half of 2019, soaring by 7.4 percent to €682.6 million.
The company's so-called core businesses, which exclude its North American operations, recorded an 8.8 percent sales increase to €650.9 million, generating 12.6 percent higher operating income of €57.8 million, equal to 8.9 percent of sales.
Overall, the group's gross margin expanded by 0.8 percentage points to 31.0 percent in the quarter and net earnings jumped by 16.5 percent to €29.7 million.
E-bike and e-cargo bike sales were up by 16 and 47 percent, respectively. However, sales of traditional bike declined by 13 percent in value, and now represent only 16 percent of Accell's core bike revenues.
Core bicycle sales across all categories gained 9.5 percent from the same period a year ago to €516.3 million and generated an operating profit of €71.7 million, which represents an improvement of 37 percent. Sales of parts & accessories rose by 6 percent to €134.5 million, and the segment's operating profit advanced by 9 percent to €7.4 million.
The management pointed out that the supply chain team is on track with the new efficiencies that should deliver the targeted savings of €12 million for 2019. The company has adopted a more focused use of its three large manufacturing facilities in Europe, with the production of low-cost models in Turkey and e-bikes in Hungary, combined with a flexible facility for the efficient production of smaller runs in the Netherlands.
Accell has seen double-digit growth in most of its core regions. In the Netherlands, it reversed a previous downward trend in turnover and volume, posting double-digit growth and strong contributions from the Koga, Sparta and Batavus brands. Bike sales in Benelux were up by 8.6 percent to €135.4 million. In the DACH region – Deutschland, Austria and Switzerland – the growth was hampered by to delayed introduction of innovative Haibike and Ghost models. Revenues there inched up by 1.4 percent to €272.6 million.
In all other core European regions, Accell saw strong double-digit turnover growth in e-bikes, driven by strength from Raleigh and Lapierre. As a result, European sales jumped by 17.3 percent to €91.5 million. Velosophy, acquired in July of last year, contributed €16.9 million.