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Sale of Derby Cycle stake lifts Accell Group profits


European bike producer Accell Group NV, which owns brands such as recently acquired Van Nicholas, alongside Koga and Lapierre amongst others recorded a rise in turnover and net profit in 2011. Turnover increased by 9% to €628.5 million. This was partly on the back of rising sales of electric and sports bicycles, due in particular to strong growth in Germany.

Partly as a result of a positive contribution from one-off items, such as the sale of Accell’s stake in Derby Cycle, net profit for 2011 was up by 11% to reach €40.3 million. Meanwhile, positive developments in working capital and a relative reduction of inventories created a strong cash flow.

René Takens, Chief Executive Officer of Accell Group, said “We are satisfied with the results we achieved, particularly in view of the current economic climate, which is making consumers hesitant to make major purchases. Turnover and profit from bicycle parts and accessories showed healthy growth. In this segment, we noted that while consumers are putting off new bicycle purchases, they are investing in the maintenance of their existing bicycles.”

Takens added, “In addition to the reduced tax burden, the book profit of €16 million on the sale of our 22% stake in the listed company Derby Cycle lifted our net profit. Unfortunately, this effect was for a significant part offset by the definitive ruling in a case with the Dutch competition authority NMa, which has been ongoing for more than 10 years.

“We expect cycling to remain very popular in the coming years, with bicycles increasingly becoming a lifestyle product for consumers, especially for young people. We are responding to this international trend. And thanks to investments in our strong brands, innovations, design and the geographical presence of our activities we can also respond rapidly to changes in the market. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we therefore expect a further increase in turnover and net operating result in 2012.”