Pandemic hits Shimano’s Q1 sales by 15%

Europe’s mild winter got Shimano’s bicycle sales off to a strong start in the quarter, but like most businesses saw a sharp decline when the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Net sales from the bicycle components segment decreased 15.4%, compared like-for-like with the same period last year, to 58,868 million yen, while operating income decreased 26.1% to 10,298 million yen.

In Europe, Shimano noted strong retail sales of completed bicycles, particularly e-Bike’s, but from mid March sales declined rapidly and distributor inventories in Europe increased rapidly.

In North America, retail unit sales of completed bicycles had been strong, again supported by good weather, but then plummeted in March, thanks again to coronavirus, seeing distributor inventories at a high level.

The pandemic also slowed retail sales in China, although distributor inventories generally remained at an appropriate level, said Shimano.

In South America, in Brazil, retail sales were on a recovery trend after stagnating due to political instability, but retail sales rapidly slowed in late March again for Covid-19. In the Argentine market, where currency depreciation continues, sales remained stagnant.

In the Japanese market, retail sales of community bicycles for commuting to work and school and middle- to high-end sports bicycles were weak throughout the period, but e-Bike sales remained strong. Distributor inventories generally remained at appropriate levels.

Shimano said: “Under these market conditions, the Deore XT and SLX high-end MTB components, and GRX gravel adventure components were well received in the market. Also, the SHIMANO STEPS sport E-BIKE components were favourable.”