With the surge in demand for bicycle-related products in the European market, Thule Group’s net sales increased by 8% year-on-year in the third quarter.
Thule is an outdoor equipment manufacturer founded in 1942 in Hillerstorp, southern Sweden. In the 1960s, Thule specialized in producing roof-mounted luggage racks and other car accessories, expanding to outdoor equipment used for carrying luggage items. Thule is the largest and most well-known brand under the group. Thule’s product range includes various items such as car roof boxes, bike racks, roof-mounted luggage racks, baby strollers, laptop and camera bags, tablet and phone cases, backpacks, suitcases, and rooftop tents.
The growth of the electric bicycle industry has driven the expansion of Thule’s outdoor business. The production of Thule’s bike racks has seen rapid growth. CEO Matthias Ancaberger pointed out that the company’s latest high-end bike rack, Epos, launched in the spring, significantly boosted overall sales growth, especially in Europe, where net sales (SEK 1.689 billion) increased by 19.1% year-on-year. Thule stated that in the Americas region, net sales (SEK 622 million) decreased by 13.7%, although bicycle-related sales did increase, the growth rate was lower than in Europe.
In the first three quarters of this year, Thule’s overall net sales amounted to SEK 23.11 billion (USD 2.06 billion), compared to SEK 21.39 billion in the same period last year. Net profit increased by 90.3% year-on-year, rising from SEK 137 million to SEK 262 million, and earnings per share increased from SEK 1.31 to SEK 2.47. Thule will also invest a significant amount of funds in the product development phase, accounting for approximately 6.9% of the sales. Matthias Ancaberger stated that despite the high development costs, the EBIT margin for this quarter is comparable to the pre-pandemic level.
The reduced demand in the previous period led to an increase in Thule’s inventory. However, Matthias Ancaberger believes that the market is recovering. Thule’s sales have grown rapidly this year, and inventory levels have continued to decrease during this period. The operating cash flow (SEK 838 million) also reached the highest single-quarter historical level.