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Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

Summary: These articles are from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Used with permission.

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
November 7, 2008

Easton Bell Reports Increased Sales in Q3

by Nicole Formosa

VAN NUYS, CA (BRAIN)-Easton Bell saw a 7.8 percent increase in net sales during the third quarter of 2008, thanks in part to strong sales of cycling equipment, according to an earnings report issued last week.

In the Action Sports segment, which includes Bell, Easton and Giro brands, sales were up 8.1 percent, from $82.7 million in 2007 to $90.8 million for the three-month period ending Sept. 27, 2008. Net sales jumped due to increased sales of cycling helmets and accessories, components, snowsports helmets and eyewear, which helped offset decreased sales of powersports helmets.

Mass channel sales reflected double digit growth and specialty channel sales were up high single digits in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of 2007, the report said.

Year-to-date, Action Sports is up 10.3 percent, or $24.3 million. Overall, Easton Bell reported sales of $203.4 million for the third quarter.

"We are pleased with the company's third quarter results, which reflect the strength of the brands in our portfolio and their category leadership positions. We remain focused on working capital and cash flow management as we work with our strategic partners during these challenging economic times," said Paul Harrington, Easton Bell Sports, Inc. president and chief executive officer.

Harrington said the company's performance would likely be impacted by retail market conditions for the remainder of the year.

For more details on Easton Bell's third quarter performance, read the December Issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Copyright 2008 by The Neilsen Company, Owner of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, all rights reserved, operated under license by NBDA Services. Used with permission from Publisher Mark Sani.

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

April 1, 2009

Easton Bell Reports Growth in Difficult Fourth Quarter

by Nicole Formosa

Van Nuys, CA--Easton Bell Sports' business formula proved successful in the fourth quarter of last year as the company reported a 9.1 percent increase in sales despite falling consumer confidence and the weak economy.

"We were able to continue the momentum we experienced in the first three quarters into the fourth quarter despite the volatile economic environment," said Paul Harrington, chief executive officer of Easton Bell. "However, we are cognizant the current contraction in consumer spending has an impact on our business. As a result, we're continually monitoring the marketplace to understand sell-through trends and retail inventory levels."

Harrington made his comments during the company's year-end earnings conference call on Feb.27.

For the year, Easton Bell, which owns the Giro, Bell, Blackburn and Easton brands, was up 7 percent, reporting $775.5 million in sales.

Easton Bell's Action Sports segment, which includes its cycling helmets, components and accessories. posted a 10.9 percent increase in sales in 2008-from $308.1 million in 2007 to $341.8 million last year.

The growth was well balanced between the mass and specialty channels with both experiencing low double-digit increases last year, Harrington said.

"Our mass channel has reflected strong growth from cycling helmets and accessories," Harrington said. "A major win in 2008 for this business was that we started shipping cycling product to Target, an important category addition for this value customer."

In the specialty market, mature products like cycling helmets grew at a slower rate than newer small-based items like cycling gloves, Giro-branded eyewear and snowsports helmets, Harrington said.

Cycling and other action sports helmets accounted for 19.3 percent of net sales in 2008, up from 18.5 percent the year before; cycling component and accessories, including Blackburn-branded air pumps, racks, lights, cyclometers, tools and CO2 inflators, amounted to 6.5 percent of overall sales in 2008, up a tad from 6.3 percent in 2007; and cycling accessories sold under the Bell and Co-Pilot brands primarily through mass retailers accounted for 9.4 percent of sales, the same as 2007.

Headed into 2009, Easton Bell is cautious about experiencing the same success it did in 2008 as retailers manage inventory tighter.

Like many companies, Easton Bell is challenging spending in every area of the business and looking to reduce product costs and operating expenses. It scaled back capital expenditures in order to conserve cash, Harrington said.

In the 2009 budget, Easton Bell increased its allowance for doubtful accounts by about $2 million to cover its losses in case one of its major retail customers runs into trouble and can't pay its bills.

Copyright 2009 by The Neilsen Company, Owner of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, all rights reserved, operated under license by NBDA Services. Used with permission from Publisher Mark Sani.