Shimano continues steady sales growth buoyed by e-Bike biz

Shimano’s first quarter financial results have posted a 5.1% like-for-like bicycle division growth.

Coming on the back of a 4.1% full year growth in 2017, today’s financials point to steady growth in e-Bikes in Europe, paired with a return to appropriate stock levels in the USA as primary drivers for gradual improvement.

A contrasting picture in China has seen retail sales of complete bicycles showing no signs of recovery and retail sales of low-end and middle-range bicycles continued to be sluggish, although “distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level.”

Meanwhile, Japan posted “lacklustre” sales of retail and community bicycles and unstable weather further hampered sales, though distributor inventories returned to appropriate levels.

The market’s reception of Shimano’s STEPS E8000 drive for e-MTB, the Di2 electronic version and Ultegra road discs were particularly warmly received.

As a result, net sales from this segment increased 5.1% from the same period of the previous year to 68,000 million yen, and operating income increased 5.5% to 14,757 million yen.

A fire at the manufacturer’s Japanese facility was not mentioned in the financials, so the impact on the business is not yet known.

Overall net sales across all divisions increased 5.7% from the same period the prior year. Operating income rose 10.9%, while net income rose 13.2%.