OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano’s sales hit $742.2 million (75.7 billion yen) over the first quarter, compared to $620.5 million (63.3 billion yen) over the same period last year. Sales in its bike division hit $598.6 million (61.1 billion yen), an increase of 19 percent.
The company contributes its surge in sales to a relatively mild European winter and a new Japanese consumption tax that stimulated sales before it took effect. A depreciation of the yen also made its products more affordable. But the harsh winter in the U.S. delayed sales. Still, the company conceded that its sales growth exceeded its expectations.
While the company does not call it out, Shimano is the only supplier of road hydraulic brakes, which means it has not only cornered the brake market, but it's selling drivetrains to go with those brakes. All early model year 2015 road hydraulic disc bikes are spec’d with Shimano’s R785 hydraulic road brakes. SRAM will cut into these sales when its revised brakes become available.
As a result of its robust first quarter, the company revised its earlier February forecast upwards. While the company doesn't think sales will continue to be up 20 percent above last year, it anticipates sales through June will increase 9 percent over last year, and sales through the end of the year to be up 6 percent compared to 2013.