Owner of bicycle brands from Batavus to Sparta, Raleigh and Lapierre, among many others, the Accell Group said that favorable weather conditions in Europe and robust demand for electric bicycles and upper-end sports bicycles enabled it to raise its turnover above its forecast for the first months of 2015. The Dutch group's profit was also on the rise compared with the same period last year.
Sales of electric bicycles improved in countries where the category is already well-developed, led by the Netherlands and Germany, but Accell said that the demand also picked up in countries where such bicycles are far less wide-spread, from France to the U.K. and Scandinavia.
Accell also boasted an increase in sales of sports bicycles and accessories, supported by the acquisitions of Comet in Spain and CSN in Denmark, which has an annual turnover of about €13 million and will be consolidated from the start of the year. The increase in sales boosted operating profit for the period and encouraged Accell to confirm its forecast of higher sales and profit for the full year.
At the same time, the company confirmed that it had lifted recommended retail prices for some of its brands in several European countries, for products that had to be paid at current exchange rates. René Takens, the company's chief executive, told SGI Europe that the increases applied to European markets ranging from the Netherlands to Germany and France, among others. The rate and the scope of the increases was worked out on the basis of the order bag and the components of the bicycles. Accell said that this reduced the impact of the strong dollar on the group's performance.
Accell Nederland BV previously indicated that increases in recommended retail prices were applied in the Netherlands. As reported by Bike Europe, the company informed Dutch bicycle dealers that it would raise prices by 5 percent from March 27 for bicycles made by Batavus, Sparta, Koga, Van Nicholas and Loekie.
Some Dutch retailers indicated that other suppliers lifted their prices in April or are preparing to do so from the beginning of May, with increases sometimes reaching more than 5 percent. The brands quoted by retailers or consumer forums include Gazelle and Specialized.