3 Performance of the group
The Accell Group companies were once again successful in 2015. Accell Group intensified the cooperation between the companies and we are initiating numerous improvements, especially in the supply chain, and we expect to see the first benefits of these measures in 2016. Together with the acquisitions in late 2014 and early 2015, Accell Group booked positive results both in operational terms and in financial terms.
In early January 2015, we acquired the Danish company Cycle Service Nordic. This acquisition constituted a further expansion in the parts & accessories segment and is a good fit with our international growth strategy. We strive to create a full-coverage parts and accessories network in Europe and North America, to ensure we can provide our markets with optimum service and realise benefits of scale. At the same time, this approach enables us to further boost cooperation with our dealers and increase opportunities for cross-selling with bikes. Our own parts brand XLC plays an important role in this drive.
It recently emerged that an employee of one of Accell Group’s own Asian organisations (Accell Asia Taiwan) stole money from the company’s bank account. Accell Group subsequently initiated an investigation into the nature, cause and impact of this theft. Accell Group hired an international forensic accountancy firm for this investigation and has immediately requested legal support in Taiwan and reported the theft to the local authorities. After careful analysis, the investigation resulted in the conclusion that this was an isolated incident occurred at AAT in Taiwan. The damage to Accell Group is estimated at a maximum of € 4 million. The conclusions of the investigation have been incorporated in a project plan to further tighten the internal control systems.
Group turnover came in 12% higher at € 986.4 million in 2015. Turnover increased by 9% organically. Currency exchange effects had a positive impact of € 34.4 million in 2015, largely due to the exchange rates for the US dollar, Pound sterling and the Taiwanese dollar.
Added value (net turnover less material costs and inbound transport costs) as a percentage of turnover came in at 31.7% (2014: 30.4%). Absolute added value rose by more than 17% to € 313.0 million (2014: € 268.3 million). The added value in 2015 was influenced by improved underlying margins, less discounts and sales mix. The sales mix was more favourable in 2015, due to an increase in the sales of electric bikes. On top of this, the acquisition of Comet and CSN made a positive contribution to the higher added value.
Staff costs fell to 12.1% of turnover (2014: 12.2%). The other costs (excluding incidental costs) increased to 12.3% of the turnover (2014: 12.1%). Total operating costs (excluding exceptional costs) came in at € 250.5 million in 2015, or 25.4% of turnover (2014: 25.3%).
The operating profit (excluding exceptional income and expenses) rose to € 62.5 million in 2015 (2014: € 44.8 million). Currency exchange effects had a minimal impact on the operating profit. The result from minority interests came in at € 0.9 million in 2015 (2014: € 0.4 million), due to a provision on a loan to a minority interest.
The balance of financial income and expenses amounted to € 9.1 million negative in 2015 (2014: € 8.8 million negative). The higher financial expenses compared with 2014 were due to higher average positions on bank accounts.
The effective tax rate rose to 33.5% in the year under review (2014: 25.9%) and the incident in Taiwan had a negative impact on this rate. Excluding the incident in Taiwan, the effective tax rate was 31.0% and was influenced by the higher results in Germany and non-capitalisation of compensable losses in North America.
Net profit for the financial year 2015 came in at € 32.3 million (2014: € 26.5 million). Net profit excluding the impact of the incident in Taiwan came in at € 36.3 million, 37% higher than in 2014.
Accell Group’s balance sheet total stood at € 729.7 million at year-end 2015 (2014: € 631.8 million). Total working capital amounted to € 337.7 million in 2015 (2014: € 269.2 million); working capital as a percentage of turnover came in at 34.2% (2014: 30.5%).
The value of inventories increased due to the higher cost prices in general and due to the increase in the number of more expensive bikes, which are subject to a longer than average turnover time. The value of the parts in stock was up in 2015, due to higher costs prices and accelerated production planning to ensure improved availability for the market. The total value of inventories stood at € 338.7 million at year-end 2015 (2014: 244.5 million). Accell Group is planning to take measures to reduce inventory levels.
Accounts receivable stood at € 134.6 million at year-end 2015 (2014: € 133.3 million). With the influence of higher cost price of the goods in transit and higher inventories of goods the total trade accounts payable increased to € 135.6 million at year-end 2015 (2014: € 108.5 million).
Capital employed rose to € 530.3 million in 2015 (2014: € 461.2 million). The return on capital employed stood at 11.0% at the end of the financial year (2014: 9.6%).
Shareholders’ equity amounted to € 305.9 million at year-end 2015 (2014: € 281.1 million). In addition to the net profit recorded in 2015, the shareholders’ equity was also impacted by the payment of a cash dividend of € 8.7 million (2014: € 7.2 million).
Due to the rise in the balance sheet total, the solvency rate had fallen to 41.9% at year-end 2015, (2014: 44.5%). Net debt (the total in loans, bank credits and cash positions) rose to € 200.0 million at year-end 2015 (2014: € 152.3 million).
Net cash flow from operating activities came in at a negative € 19.0 million in 2015 (2014: € 38.2 million positive). The operating cash flow before working capital and provisions was 29% higher at € 68.9 million in 2015 (2014: € 53.3 million). The cash flow from working capital amounted to € 68.3 million negative (2014: € 2.8 million positive), due to higher inventories and accounts receivable. Accounts payable were also higher than the previous year. The free cash flow came in at € 31.1 million negative (2014: € 38.3 million positive).
Earnings per share and dividend
Earnings per share on the basis of the weighted average number of outstanding shares (year-end 25,116,249 shares) came in 22% higher at € 1.29 in 2015 (2014: € 1.06). Due to the issuance of 398,702 shares for the payment of the stock dividend for the 2014 financial year, the correction factor for the earnings per share from previous years is 0.9842.
For the 2015 financial year, Accell Group shareholders will be asked to approve the payment of an optional dividend of € 0.72 per share (2014: € 0.61), to be paid out in cash or shares. This results in a pay-out ratio of 56%. Based on the closing price at year-end 2015 (€ 21.07), the dividend return amounts to 3.4%.
In proposing to pay out this dividend, Accell has taken into account that the incidental cost will not result in a lower dividend.
Cycling is highly popular, for mobility, environmental awareness and health reasons. Bicycles are now lifestyle products and popular among young people. Thanks to the introduction and continued development of electric bikes, users now have a serious alternative for mobility. Numerous national and regional governments in Europe and elsewhere continue to promote the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transport. These developments will have a positive impact on the demand for bikes, bike parts and accessories.
Accell Group will continue to expand its market positions. The company’s current position in the middle and higher segment provides a strong basis for growth and will generate synergy benefits in the short and long term. As an extension of this strategy, the expansion of its bicycle parts and accessories business will further strengthen Accell Group’s proposition. In addition to this, Accell Group will continue to actively look for potential ways to increase its scale in 2016, both organically and via acquisitions that fit the group’s profile and (brand) portfolio. These acquisitions will also have to be complementary and add value to the group in terms of returns and synergies in the short term. Accell group expects the favourable underlying trends, combined with the improved macro-economic conditions and higher consumer confidence to have a positive impact on its results. Further increases in scale and the utilisation of synergy and efficiency benefits on fronts such as purchasing, production, development and marketing will boost the group’s competitive strength and its profit potential.
In line with these expectations and barring unforeseen circumstances, Accell Group expects to record a further increase in turnover and results in 2016.
Corporate social responsibility is a topic that Accell Group pays much attention to. Accell Group produces a sustainable product that contributes to a healthy lifestyle and reducing CO2 emissions. This also includes that our production is as human and as environment-friendly as possible. More information about our CSR policy can be found in Chapter 5 on page 61 of this report.
Batavus Quip was awarded with the special award for Good Industrial Design for Excellence because of originality. The jury was particularly impressed by the courage of Batavus to be “different”. The Batavus Quip breaks with the standard looks of a bicycle.
Lector ULC World Cup
With the Lector ULC World Cup, a new model in the series of race-oriented hardtails is introduced. The model features a Tune 29” wheelset and a light carbon frame that keeps overall weight low. Innovative components such as a full SRAM XX1 fit-out, Ritchey WCS carbon mounting parts, and Rockshox upside down carbon fork give this bike outstanding ride characteristics.
GHOST LECTOR WC
This new version of our legendary LECTOR is a race-oriented lightweight carbon hardtail featuring 29" wheels sharing the aggressive, cutting edge design with its multi-award-winning counterpart RIOT, and expands GHOST's new breed product line. In the past, the name "LECTOR" was used to mark the best models in the GHOST-Bikes portfolio. This product deserves the name LECTOR all by itself.
Diavelo After 5
The Diavelo is one of the world's lightest 45 km/h speed bikes. This is a premium quality bike for anyone demanding luxury equipment at the highest level. The frame is made of autoclave carbon fiber with a layer of Kevlar fiber to give the frame additional strength. The frame and front fork were designed by Protanium.
The wood used for the ÖKOVÄNLIG, meaning 'environmentally friendly', is PEFC certified plywood, harvested in an environmentally friendly way and manufactured in Germany. This e-bike has specially designed aluminium parts that turn two plywood panels and two wheels, and complies with EN and ISO standards. The easy-to-remove Protanium lithium battery sits in the plywood sandwich construction.
GHOST RIOT 9 LC
This bike combines detailed innovative solutions with a dynamic design. The heart of the carbon fibre frame is the patent-pending RIOT-Link, a rear-suspension system with a new performance level. This mechanical system is discretely integrated and allows great balance in the frame’s design. Advanced manufacturing processes and components including the Disconnect brake-mount contribute to the great appearance of the product.
Raleigh RXC Pro Disc
With its less than 18 pounds, the RXC Pro moves well on roads, gravel trails, mud and grass. It is equipped with a reliable Di2 shifting, delivering the right gear with the lightest tap. This bike is fun even when the Cross season is over.
Raleigh Clubman Disc
The Clubman felt as if it were at home with speed. This is exactly what I’m looking for in a commuter: dependable rain or shine, and up for a high-paced adventure or just hanging close to home.
Yuba Spicy Curry
Yuba Bicycles and Currie Technologies teamed up to launch the Spicy Curry, a powerful Electric Cargo Bike designed to spice up urban mobility and enable car-free living. In addition to its powerful centerdrive electric motor the Spicy Curry has a low-rider cargo rack, integrated lock tab and Yepp Child seat adapters, and plug-in cargo system with optional truck bed.
Haibike s-Duro Hard Four RX Kids 24
This Haibike model was designed to get the young "generation e" excited about e-bikes and cycling. Differences in strength and endurance are compensated for by the tried-and-tested Yamaha central motor with "zero-cadence support". Hydraulic disc brakes, a Shimano 9-speed shifting system, aluminium hollow-section rims and Schwalbe Table Top tyres speak to the high quality components used in this model.
A compact e-bike, the Winora Radius is the perfect companion for urban adventurers. Twistable and foldable parts as well as the grip integrated into the top tube let this e-bike handle easily and store comfortably in even the smallest spaces. This line of e-bikes is powered by a 250W Yamaha PW central motor and a 400Wh lithium-ion battery.
Diavelo Inflatable jacket
The Diavelo inflatable jacket is specifically developed for driving the electric Speedbike category. This jacket protects against cold and wind when it is inflated. Once folded the jacket occupies a limited amount of space, and is therefore easily be put into a backpack or a small pocket when not in use.
Diavelo Stem with integrated display
Protanium electric bike components develops integrated parts for electric bikes, and only recently presented the integrated display for bikes. The display is elegantly integrated in the stem, but still removable. The display is recharged using inductive charging. The display is operated via Bluetooth to the control board on the handlebar. The display also function as a key for the electric system.