On yer bike: cycling industry out-pedaled by demand

first_imgCycling is booming across the globe as people seek to avoid crowded buses and trains on their commute in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — or get back into shape after long months of lockdown.But with bicycle sales exploding in many countries, the craze has left manufacturers and retailers out-pedaled by demand.In Paris, where mayor Anne Hidalgo has been working hard to put cycling on the map, vastly increasing the number of bike lanes in recent years, would-be buyers often have to wait weeks for a brand new ride. “For three or four weeks now, I’ve had a dozen or so clients waiting. And I’ve had to return money to a few because I simply have no idea when I’ll have bikes for them,” independent Paris retailer Federico Mosca told AFP.One customer, 31-year-old Nicolas, said he had visited eight different shops before getting lucky.Even then, he was forced to bust his budget and buy a more expensive model because the cheaper bike he wanted was sold out.”I was looking for a specific bike and had given myself a month to buy one, but it’s not available anywhere,” he said. Broken chainBut in addition to runaway demand from the end consumer, lockdowns have made it difficult for European and US manufacturers to obtain parts.The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) estimates that 45 to 50 percent of parts for all bikes sold in Europe are imported from Asia.Moreno Fioravanti, secretary general of the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association (EBMA), said the industry has “lost three months of production of components, and our stockpiles were used up in only two months”.Pancho Pimentel, marketing chief for Summit Bicycles, which has five stores in California, said “there are shortages everywhere, from bike brands to parts”.Cycling “works off of a global supply chain that has been interrupted due to COVID-19 and its consequences are being seen in every category”, he said.According to CONEBI, 7.3 million bikes and e-bikes were imported into Europe last year, principally from Taiwan and Cambodia.The world’s leading manufacturer, Taiwan-based Giant, saw its European sales increase by 140 percent year-on-year in June, driven in particular by sales of e-bikes.Its order-book is full until the first half of next year and it is similarly optimistic for the second half.However, CONEBI’s director general, Manuel Marsilio, said the bike shortage was not as bad as some people might suggest.”There was some shortage because of two months of lockdown, due to the fact that EU production stopped,” he said.”But our bike industry is working very hard to fill the gap. It is a very positive thing that we have so many small and medium-sized makers all over Europe, who are very flexible.”Most EU producers will continue to work also in July and August, so there won’t be a halt in the summer,” he said. Leading retail chain Decathlon said it also has waiting lists, but can refurbish second-hand bikes for impatient customers.French bicycle sales doubled in May and June compared to the same months last year, according to the sporting and cycling federation.Sales are booming in most countries around the world.Decathlon calculated that in Europe overall, sales “have increased two- and even threefold”.In China, demand has increased fivefold since lockdowns were eased.And in the US, sales of bikes have exploded, with online purchases alone skyrocketing in May by 5,000 percent over the figure for the same month last year. Overall US sales, both online and in-store, jumped by 81 percent year-on-year to $1.1 billion (950 million euros) in May, according to People for Bikes, a coalition of manufacturers and retailers.  Topics :last_img read more

Private equity, real estate boost Q2 returns at Finland’s Ilmarinen

first_img“Regional yield differences between the stock markets were unusually large,” he added. “The stock indices of the United States and emerging economies ended up in clearly positive territory.“Meanwhile, the European market, weighed down by growth and Brexit-related concerns, closed H1 clearly in the red.”Mursula said he was convinced equity market volatility would continue to the end of the year, due to continued geopolitical uncertainty and the “rough estimates and guesses” as to the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.“Both phenomena increase the markets’ uneasiness and are certainly not going to raise any hopes of a recovery in economic growth,” he said.However, away from equity markets, Ilmarinen’s sizeable fixed income portfolio – accounting for nearly 45% of assets – returned 0.3%, within which loans returned 1.9%, and bonds issued by public corporations 2.7%.Real estate, 11.3% of assets, returned 1.7%, while the mutual’s portfolio of ‘other’ investments – including hedge fund holdings and commodities – returned 10.6%.Despite the lower overall returns for the first six months of 2016, Ilmarinen still reported an average return of 4.3% over the course of the last decade, translating to a 2.6% real return averaged over the last 10 years. Finland’s Ilmarinen has closed out the first half of the year with investment losses, albeit with returns from the three months to June mitigating losses of 1.4% from the first quarter.Ending June with €35.7bn in assets, the pensions mutual said its holdings returned 0.8% over the second quarter, resulting in first-half results of -0.6%.While its equity portfolio overall generated losses of 3.6%, owing to the 5.8% loss on its listed equity holdings, Ilmarinen’s private equity portfolio produced a stronger performance, returning 5.5%.Mikko Mursula, the mutual’s CIO, noted equity markets had continued to be volatile throughout the first six months of the year.last_img read more

KMJ Performance signs on as sponsor for special events in six IMCA divisions

first_imgHe started Assault Race Cars with Randy Havlik in 2017 and bought both Victory Chassis and Zero 1 Shocks last year. “This program is a good way for us to get our feet wet with IMCA and get national exposure,” KMJ owner and long-time Modified driver Tony Hofbauer said. “This will be a good thing for us and for the drivers.” Those certificates will be given at designated specials for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Late Models, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods and Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods.  Drivers in the same four divisions competing in Assault and Victory cars receive free pit passes when they race this season at Marshalltown. They’ll also receive a 2020 chassis for winning the 2019 track title there.  STORY CITY, Iowa – New sponsor KMJ Performance makes a top five finish pay off even more at 80 IMCA special events in 2019.  KMJ’s initial sponsorship program extends to the biggest event in all of dirt track racing, as a 2020 chassis will be awarded to any Modified, Stock Car, Hobby Stock or Northern SportMod winning the Saturday night main event at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s in an Assault or Victory ride. KMJ now has 32 employees working in Story City. A 45,000 square foot building is home to corpo­rate offices, storefront and aluminum fabricating, with a 40,000 square foot building home to warehousing and a welding shop. Havlik was the 2009 Super Nationals Modified champion; Hofbauer was runner-up in the 2003 event. The Story City, Iowa, chassis and high performance parts manufacturer and distributor gives $200 gift certificates good toward the purchase of any four shock package, or $250 certificates, applicable in the purchase of any Victory or Assault chassis.  “The flexibility of this program will work very well when targeting special events across the country,” noted IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “We are able to give drivers a second option when it comes to the award package and that will really be beneficial at certain events. We are really looking forward to working with Tony and his team at KMJ this season.” Information about both brands of chassis and all KMJ products is available at the www.kmjperformance.com website and on Facebook.  Hofbauer started KMJ – the initials of his kids’ first names – at his farm south of Ames in 2005, after selling his interest in Midwest Motorsports. “Randy and I have known each other for a long time but this is something neither one of us ever envisioned,” Hofbauer said of KMJ’s rapid growth. “We ship 4,000-5,000 orders a week and manufac­ture a private line of Assault Racing Products.”last_img read more

Coursing underway in Clonmel

first_imgToday sees the 89th National Coursing Meeting begin at Powerstown Park in Clonmel. The meet will run until Monday with over €200,000 in prize money up for grabs. It is the biggest event in the coursing calendar year and Johnny Looby will be covering all of the action for Tipp FM Sport.last_img