2.1
Financial performance

"In 2021 global supply chain disruptions and component shortages dominated the year. Despite this we have seen continued growth driven by our parts and accessories business, and our ability to include inflationary effects of supply side costs in our product pricing. To cope with supply chain disruptions our teams have taken various mitigating actions, mainly related to alternative components and sourcing. For numerous of our bikes the bill of materials was changed in order to mitigate the disruptions. Also we have invested in increased inventory to cope with the uncertainties. This came at the expense of our free cash flow.

As part of our strategy execution we have increased investments in our brands in 2021. We are proud that our approach to bike design and innovation has again been recognized with various awards for amongst others our Lapierre Overvolt, Koga Pace and Haibike Adventr. Thanks to our focus on product availability we have also been able to gain market share in our Western Europe and Central European markets during the second half of 2021.

Demand across our regions and product categories remained strong. This clearly demonstrates that cycling continues to move the world forward. At the same time, we cannot close our eyes for the significant uncertainties we face in the world today and how these can impact our business and performance. Of these uncertainties, the global supply chain disruptions and component shortages currently form the most tangible challenge for us as we expect these to continue throughout 2022. That said, we remain confident that with the measures we have put in place and will continue to take, we are on track to meet the majority of our 2022 targets."

Ton Anbeek, CEO Accell Group

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Net sales of € 1,377 million, up 6.2% despite ongoing component shortages; growth was driven by higher sales of parts & accessories (mainly volume driven) and higher bicycle sales thanks to improved pricing and mix offsetting declining volumes.
  • EBIT of € 110.1 million up 47.3%; underlying EBIT increased by 33.7% to € 106.6 million, reflecting a margin of 7.7%, up 159 basis points due to higher contribution from parts & accessories and recovery of added value margin.
  • Net profit stood at € 70.0 million based on the increase in EBIT, partly offset by higher finance costs.
  • Trade working capital at 33.1% of net sales versus 19.4% in 2020 reflecting higher component inventories due to supply chain inefficiencies and additional upfront inventory investments to protect and drive future growth.
  • Negative free cash flow of € 127.4 million primarily reflecting the increase in component inventories, leading to an increase of net debt to € 216.9 million1.

1) Excluding IFRS 16 net debt stood at € 186.7 million per year-end 2021

GROUP PERFORMANCE

In millions of euro, unless stated otherwise

  2021 2020
Net turnover 1,377.1 1,296.5
Other income 1.1 0.1
Net sales growth% vs py 6.2% 16.7%
 
Added value 421.3 361.8
Added value% 30.6% 27.9%
Added value bps vs py 269 -284
 
OPEX -312.4 -287.1
 
EBIT 110.1 74.7
EBIT% 8.0% 5.8%
 
Net finance costs -23.7 -12.8
Income from equity-accounted investees, net of tax 2.7 1.0
Result from sale of subsidiaries, non-consolidated companies and other investments 2.4 -
Income tax expense -21.5 1.9
 
Net profit 70.0 64.8
 
Basic earnings per share (in €) 2.61 2.42

 

  2021 2020
EBIT reported 110.1 74.7
One-off 1) -3.5 5.0
Underlying EBIT 106.6 79.7
 
TWC% rolling net sales 33.1% 19.4%
TWC in bps vs py 1,367 -1,301

 

1) One-off 2021 relates to a received licence fee. One-offs 2020 include several
opex related items of which restructuring and an impairment

NET SALES came in at € 1,377 million, compared with € 1,297 million in 2020 (+6.2%) and organic growth at 6.8%. Growth was driven by parts & accessories (+14.2%) and pricing to offset inflation. Sales growth for bikes came in at 3.3%, with e-bike and cargo bike categories up 1.7% and 24.6% respectively, while sales of traditional bikes was up by 5.6%. Due to component shortages volumes were down with 4.7% with e-bike down 6.9% and traditional bikes down 2.1%.

Net turnover based on the location of the customer

In millions of euro, unless stated otherwise

  2021 2020 Growth%
Benelux 1) 288.1 245.8 17.2%
Central 2) 415.9 411.6 1.1%
Other regions 3) 279.8 294.7 -5.0%
Accell Bicycles 983.8 952.0 3.3%
       
Accell Parts 393.3 344.4 14.2%
       
Accell Group 1,377.1 1,296.5 6.2%

 

1) Benelux: Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg
2) Central: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern-Europe regions
3) Other bike regions: France, UK, Ireland, Nordics and other regions

Growth in the Benelux was 17.2% thanks to improved product availability on our top runners mainly at Koga, Batavus and Sparta. Sales in Central increased by 1.1% thanks to the improved product availability in the second half of the year. In rest of Europe sales decreased by 5.0% due to a high 2020 comparison base combined with low availability of sports bicycles in particular.

Sales of parts & accessories increased by 14.2%, mainly due to a strong first half of 2021 with growth across regions as well as categories.

ADDED VALUE increased to € 421.3 million from € 361.8 million, up € 59.6 million. As a percentage of net sales, added value increased 269 bps to 30.6% thanks to:

  • Lower discounts versus 2020.
  • Higher bicycle production output versus 2020 (when production was temporarily halted due to the pandemic outbreak).
  • Positive product mix and higher pricing including passing through of increased costs of materials.

OPEX increased to € 312.4 million from € 287.1 million, up € 25.2 million or 8.8%. As a percentage of net sales, opex increased 53 bps to 22.7%. The absolute increase in opex is mainly driven by:

  • Increased factory and logistical costs of approximately € 12 million as a consequence of more labour costs in order to drive factory output whilst dealing with supply chain disruptions.
  • Higher marketing and R&D expenses in the bicycle brands of approximately € 10 million. As a % of net sales, marketing expenses are still below pre-COVID levels (1.6% of net sales 2021 vs 2.2% in 2019).

EBIT came in at € 110.1 million up 47.3% compared with 2020, representing an EBIT margin of 8.0% (+223 bps vs prior year). One-offs stood at + € 3.5 million, primarily related to a licence fee gain regarding a patent. Excluding one-offs EBIT came in 33.7% higher to € 106.6 million from € 79.7 million, representing an underlying EBIT-margin of 7.7% (+159 bps versus prior year).

FINANCE COSTS, TAX EXPENSES AND PROFIT
Mainly due to the heavy depreciation of the Turkish lira in the last quarter of 2021 finance costs increased with € 10.9 million. Income taxes came in at an € 21.5 million expense, positively impacted by the recognition of a deferred tax asset of € 3.6 million related to higher future potential to use losses in the United Kingdom. Net profit stood at € 70.0 million.

TRADE WORKING CAPITAL

In millions of euro, unless stated otherwise

         
  Trade working capital Average trade working capital
  2021 2020 2021 2020
Inventory 40.4% 22.0% 32.3% 26.6%
Trade receivables 8.7% 8.0% 10.9% 13.3%
Trade liabilities 16.1% 10.6% 15.0% 13.3%
 
Total 33.1% 19.4% 28.2% 26.6%

 

Due to the continued component supply disruptions trade working capital as percentage of net sales came in at 33.1% per year-end 2021. Average trade working capital stood at 28.2% versus 26.6% in 2020. Inventories as a percentage of net sales were up 1842 bps per year-end 2021 (on average 565 bps). The increase in inventory is driven by higher component stock versus a low 2020 comparison base. Receivables were up 71 bps (on average -/- 233 bps) while creditors were up 546 bps per year-end 2021 (on average 173 bps) due to the higher inventories. 

FINANCIAL EFFECTIVENESS AND CAPITAL EFFICIENCY

in millions of euro, unless stated otherwise

  Reported IFRS 16 One-off Adjusted
  2021 2021 2021 2021
ROCE (Rolling EBIT / Average capital employed) 1) 19.9% 1.2% -0.7% 20.4%
Net debt (in millions of euro) 216.9 -30.2 - 186.7
Net debt / Rolling EBITDA 1.7 -0.3 0.0 1.4


1) Reported capital employed is the sum of goodwill and other intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, right-of-use assets, inventories, trade and other receivables and trade payables and other current liabilities.

  Reported IFRS 16 One-off Adjusted
  2020 2020 2020 2020
ROCE (Rolling EBIT / Average capital employed) 14.6% 0.8% 1.0% 16.4%
Net debt (in millions of euro) 79.2 -29.0 - 50.2
Net debt / Rolling EBITDA 0.8 -0.2 -0.0 0.6


Free cash flow came in at -/- € 127.4 million, mainly due to the increase in trade working capital (-/- € 203.9 million). EBITDA improved by 31.5% to € 131.0 million and as such contributed positively to free cash flow. The other movements mainly relate to taxes, net finance costs and investing activities (-/- € 54.5 million).

The negative free cash flow led to a net debt of € 186.7 million per year-end 2021 versus € 50.2 million per year-end 2020. Combined with a higher underlying EBITDA, net debt/rolling EBITDA adjusted for IFRS 16 and one-offs came in at 1.4 (1.7 reported). Thanks to the increased profit, ROCE reported improved to 19.9%, and to 20.4% when adjusted for one-offs and IFRS 16 effects.

Accell Group complied with the financial covenants in the group financing agreement as of 31 December 2021 and as of all earlier test dates. As earlier announced, Accell Group repaid its remaining € 69 million GO-C facility and as result has gone back to the pre-COVID covenants as of 31 December 2021. As such, also the restrictions on dividend payments have been lifted. Consistent with the change in seasonal patterns, Accell Group also earlier announced to have reached agreement with its bank consortium to change its existing RCF arrangement from seasonal to full year availability for the term remaining.

EARNINGS PER SHARE AND DIVIDEND

  2021 2020
Net profit reported 70.0 64.8
 
Basic earnings per share (in €) 2.61 2.42
Underlying basic earnings per share (in €) 2.38 1.91


With net profit at € 70.0 million, earnings per share based on the weighted average number of outstanding shares of 26,829,592 amounted to € 2.61. Adjusted for one-offs (-/- € 2.6 million, net of tax) and the recognition of a deferred tax asset (-/- € 3.6 million), earnings per share amounted to € 2.38. The 2020 earnings per share stood at € 2.42 and at € 1.91 when adjusted for one-offs.

On 24 January 2022, Accell Group and Sprint BidCo B.V. (the "Offeror", an entity controlled by investment funds of KKR) jointly announced that they had reached conditional agreement on a recommended all-cash public offer by the Offeror for all issued and outstanding shares in Accell Group N.V. at an offer price of € 58.00 (cum dividend) in cash per share. Cum dividend means that dividends with a record date prior to the settlement of the public offer will be deducted from the offer price of € 58.00 per share. For this reason, Accell Group will not propose a dividend payment in respect of the 2021 financial year to the General Meeting.