In its interim results released today Tandem Group PLC said its prospects are "much improved" for the current year after reporting a rise in pretax profit for the first half to July 31 2002 to £284 000 from just £47 000 a year earlier.

Tandem reports ‘better than expected’ sales of high-end bikes

Tandem reports that it had suffered some impact on sales of lower specification bikes where sales were affected by cheap imports and "national grocery retailers" taking market share from the company’s traditional customer base.

The group said it has put resources in place to combat this increasingly competitive market and it expects to recover market share over the next 12 months.

Total sales for the first half amounted to £19.1m up from £15.6m, a 22 percent increase, led by sales of high-end bikes, which exceeded expectations. Operating profit before goodwill was £639,000 compared to £475,000 the same time last year, up 35 percent.

Chairman Graham Waldron said the group’s overriding priority is to maintain the improvement in shareholder value by increasing profitability and reducing debt.

Turning to the company’s prospects, Waldron said that, although the Christmas market in bicycles has a concentration of sales of lower specification products, where there is intense competition, the full year performance of the bicycle business should show an increase over last year.

Waldron said the continuing encouraging performance of the group gives the board confidence to progress further by seeking additional businesses to acquire in the sports and leisure equipment market. The group owns a snooker table company and a golf equipment manufacturer.

Negotiations are taking place with a number of companies where the group has identified opportunities for profitable growth through consolidation and operational synergies, said Waldron.

"We hope to be able to report progress on some or all of these potential acquisitions in the coming months."

In other news...

Wattbike appoints Greg Nieuwenhuys as chairman

Wattbike has announced the appointment of Greg Nieuwenhuys as chairman to help drive the company’s …