February 21, 2014 – During the fiscal year 2013, while Southern European countries saw great reductions in their current account deficits, the economic downturn in the Eurozone finally halted against a backdrop of stabilizing financial markets. In the U.S., uncertainty about political issues and financial policies receded substantially mainly due to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to scale back asset purchases in the third round of quantitative easing (QE3) in view of improved economic sentiment.
As Abenomics steadily took effect, Japan’s real GDP growth rate remained positive for the fourth consecutive quarter. In particular, public investment and personal consumption led expansion of the Japanese economy. In these circumstances, inspired by its mission—“To create new value and promote health and happiness through the enjoyment of nature and the world around us”—Shimano Group concentrated on creating a stream of captivating products to enrich the experience of cyclists and anglers around the world.
As a result, net sales increased 10.2% from the previous year to 271,037 million yen. Operating income increased 2.0% to 41,775 million yen, ordinary income increased 20.3% to increased 47,549 million yen, and net income increased 27.7% to 35,088 million yen.
In Europe, a major market for Shimano products, IBD sales were hampered by unsettled weather in the first half and could not fully recover from the weak performance even though the weather was good in July and August. In North America too, many regions experienced poor weather at the beginning of 2013. Although the North American market shifted to a recovery track from May onward, the recovery lacked vigor.
In Japan, retail sales were affected by the harsh winter weather and remained lackluster. Meanwhile, in emerging markets with growth potential, sales of sports bicycles continued to grow strongly, particularly in China. Distributor inventories of finished bicycles in Europe and North America were somewhat high but remained in an appropriate range. On the other hand, demand for repair parts grew strongly in virtually every market, including the regions that experienced poor weather, reflecting enthusiasm for cycling worldwide.
In these market conditions, shipments from Shimano proceeded virtually as scheduled. Sales of new products, including DEORE and ALTUS mountain bike components and ULTEGRA and CLARIS road bike components, were buoyant. In addition, owing to the high popularity of Shimano products in Europe and North America and depreciation of the yen, segment sales fulfilled the forecast. As a result, sales from this segment increased 9.6% from the previous year to 217,263 million yen, and operating income increased 1.3% to 39,505 million yen.
The Japanese market was affected by bad weather starting with cold spells and snowfall at the beginning of the year, and Northern Japan experienced lengthy periods of wet weather from the summer to the autumn. However, signs of recovery became visible from late autumn when the market as a whole, centering on general consumers such as households with young children, gained momentum.
In such market conditions, Shimano received many orders for NEW STELLA SW reels and other spinning reels for saltwater fishing and electric reels, and enjoyed brisk sales of lure fishing-related products throughout the year. Overseas, despite the adverse impact of unsettled weather in both Europe and North America, Shimano recorded sales higher than the previous year because new products were highly regarded in the market.
In Asia, while the slowing Chinese economy was a concern, sales to retailers in East Asian and Southeast Asian markets were buoyant. In Oceania, brisk sales to retailers continued despite concern about the impact of unsettled weather.
As a result, sales from this segment increased 13.1% from the previous year to 53,398 million yen, and operating income increased 5.7% to 2,404 million yen.