Shimano’s consolidated revenues went up by 44.6 percent to 546.3 billion yen (€4.14bn) in the financial year ended Dec. 31, recovering from a mere 4.1 percent of growth in the previous year. Still, the company is guiding for an increase of only 6.1 percent in 2022. The group’s operating earnings jumped by 79.3 percent to ¥148.3 billion (€1.12bn) last year, and net earnings soared by 82.7 percent to ¥115.9 billion (€880m).

Sales of bike components grew last year by 49.0 percent to ¥443.7 billion (€3.36bn), generating an 82.7 percent higher operating income of ¥125.1 million (€950m). The company did better at scaling its output than its downstream clients in the finished bike sector, but the growth slowed down in the final quarter to 34 percent. The company noted that the strong demand in this segment began to slow down in the second half of 2021. Segment sales are seen rising by 7 percent in 2022, with the growth being slightly weighted toward the first half as Shimano works through its order backlog.

In general, the demand for mid and high-end bicycles remained high because of the spread of Covid-19, Shimano said. The demand for bikes and bike-related products remained high in the European market, backed by governmental policies in favor of the environment. Despite some signs of improvement, market inventories of complete bikes remained at low levels.

Sales of fishing tackle rose by 28.1 percent to ¥102.4 billion (€780m) last year, generating a 62.1 percent boost in the segment’s operating income to ¥23.1 billion (€180m). The fourth quarter remained strong, with an increase of 30 percent for the period, but Shimano is guiding for growth of only 2 percent for fishing tackle in 2022. According to the company, the European market’s demand started to cool off last year in some regions, but sales remained solid due to widespread vaccinations and progress in online sales.

Total net sales are seen rising by 10.8 percent across the group in the first half of this year, leading to a rise of 7.1 percent in the company’s net earnings. The forecast for the full year calls for a sales increase of 6.1 percent to ¥580 billion (€4.39bn), a gain of 8.6 percent in operating profit to ¥161 million (€1.22bn) and a rise of 1.3 percent in net income to ¥117.5 billion (€890m).