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Brompton turnover up sharply in 2016/17 despite flat volumes

Folding bike firm says imminent e-bike launch should lead to more sales

​Folding bike manufacturer Brompton saw its turnover rise 15 per cent in its latest financial year despite the number of bikes it sold remaining static for the third year running – a situation it hopes will be rectified as its new electric-bike hits the market in the coming months.

According to accounts filed at Companies House, turnover in the 12 months ended 31 March 2017 – the first full year of operation of the company’s new factory in Greenford – rose 15 per cent to £32.7 million.

Meanwhile, pre-tax profit was £2.5 million, up from £0.2 million a year earlier, when there were non-recurring costs related to the new factory of £1.1 million, and the company said its new premises had already helped reduce costs through efficiency improvements.

Sales growth in the UK was particularly strong, with turnover up 18 per cent to £10.3 million, and international turnover rose too, with Spain, Singapore and China were among the countries to see strong growth.

However, the number of actual bicycles sold worldwide – 43,964 during in 2016/17 – was flat for the third year running following strong growth in the decade to 2014.

In response, Brompton said it planned a significant increase in spend on marketing and sales, but added that “most relevant is the move into electric bike sales,”

The company’s launch into the market is imminent and it says it has so far spent £1 million on the Brompton Electric project.

Brompton began accepting reservations for its electric bikes last summer for delivery early in 2018.

> Brompton launch their first e-bike

The West London-based company’s chief financial officer, Lorne Vary, told the Financial Times: “We benefited from the Cycle Superhighways growth, which meant that more Londoners had confidence to get on to bikes.

He added: “There was also more interest in other UK cities, such as Manchester, Cambridge and Birmingham.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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