Shimano has released its latest summary of financial results for the fiscal year 2018, running from 1st January to 31st December.
According to the manufacturing giant, net sales for its bicycle division were calculated at 277,243 million yen, an increase of around 2.6% on 2017. Shimano also revealed its operating income decreased by 0.3% to 57,250 million yen.
The financial report highlighted the company’s performance within its numerous geographic markets. In Europe, retail sales of completed bicycles, mainly the sport e-Bike, were “generally robust” in part due to the favourable weather from April in to the summer season and distributor inventories of bicycles remained relatively low.
In North America, retail unit sales of complete bikes fell below the previous year’s level, however a shift towards high-end models helped retail sales amounts to stay at the same level as 2017. Similarly, sales of completes bikes in China also fell below 2017’s figures, although distributor inventories remained within an appropriate range.
With regards to other emerging markets, Shimano’s report suggested that Southeast Asia “as a whole lacked vigour”, although sales showed signs of a gradual recovery in Indonesia. In South America, however, the Brazilian market eventually bottomed out in 2018 after consumption weakened, while the Argentine market remained stagnant due to the effects of currency depreciation.
Shimano also reported that retail sales of both sports and community bikes remained “sluggish”, owing partly to unseasonable weather conditions and natural disasters. On a positive note, retail sales of e-Bikes as a whole increased, with the Sport e-Bike in particular gaining more attention.
According to the report, the new Shimano 105 Series, high-end road bike component, and the new Shimano Steps E7000/E6100 sport e-Bike components were notably well-received in the market.
Across the entirety of Shimano’s division, the company posted net sales of 348,035 million yen, a year-on-year increase of 3.6% from 2017, while operating income increased by 2.1% to 65,687 million yen in 2018.
For 2019, the company is forecasting a 4.9 percent increase in net sales, and an 11 percent increase in operating income
In the report, Shimano looked ahead to the current uncertainties plaguing the European, US and Japanese markets: “The economy in Europe threatens to decelerate if uncertainties such as the turmoil in Brexit negotiations and rising fiscal instability in Italy manifest themselves. In the US, vigorous personal consumption is expected to expand the economy, while there exists a concern that the pace of growth will slow down as the effect of the tax reduction fades off.
“In Japan, personal consumption is estimated to hold up well on the back of a good employment environment, which hopefully leads to a moderate economic recovery. However, the consumption tax increase may cast a shadow over consumer sentiment. In addition there is a global concern over the impact of the US-China trade issues on the economy.
“In these circumstances, the Shimano Group, while closely monitoring economic trends in Japan and overseas, is endeavouring to further enhance management efficiency. We will pursue the creation of new cycling and fishing culture.”
The full financial report can be found here.