Shimano has reported that its bike division has grown its sales by 2.2% to ¥199,961 for the first 9 months of 2018 vs the same period in 2017. Operating income for the bike division was almost unchanged at ¥41,052 million. Its fishing division grew more strongly with sales increasing by 7.3% to ¥53,699 million but remains the smaller part of the business. Overall the company grew its net sales 3.2% to ¥253,923.
The favourable launch of the new 105 groupset was picked out as one driver for success in the cycle market.
Within each geographic market the company statement was more varied:
In Europe, with the stable weather continuing through the summer season, retail sales of completed bicycles, mainly sport E-BIKE, stayed robust and distributor inventories of bicycles remained at a slightly lower level, though they were in an appropriate range.
In North America, retail sales of completed bicycles were on par with an average year and distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level.
In China, retail sales of completed bicycles remained feeble and retail sales of low-end and middle-range bicycles continued to be sluggish. On the other hand, bike sharing is facing a period of realignment and the number of products supplied to the market has stabilized, thereby distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level.
With regard to the other emerging markets, Southeast Asia as a whole lacked vigor, although retail sales of completed bicycles showed signs of a gradual recovery in Indonesia.
In South America, consumption showed signs of slowdown due to the effects of continuing currency depreciation and political instability in Brazil and Argentina. Distributor inventories were at an appropriate level both in Southeast Asia and South America.
In the Japanese market, although retail sales of sports bicycles and community bicycles remained sluggish owing partly to the unseasonable weather conditions persisting since the beginning of the year, sales of E-BIKE as a whole increased, and particularly, sport E-BIKE has gained more attention. Distributor inventories remained at an appropriate level.
Shimano slightly revised its annual forecasts, predicting a Net Sales figure of ¥345,000 million for the full 2018 Fiscal Year (down from its initial forecast of ¥350,000 – but still predicting modest growth vs the ¥335,800 full year figure from 2017).