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Shimano starts year with 13% hike in fishing tackle sales

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Shimano says that its newly launched Bantam MGL baitcasting reel (pictured) was well received in Japan.

Fishing sales at Shimano for the first quarter of the year rose by 13.2% compared to the same period in 2017, thanks to ‘robust’ sales in Japan and improved performances in Europe, North America and Asia.

Overall, the Japanese bicycle components and fishing tackle manufacturer saw its net sales rise to 85,236 million yen – a 6.7% increase – compared to the first three months of 2017. It told investors: “Overall the European economies were on a mild expansion trajectory as production and exports increased and the labour market continued to improve although personal spending weakened.

“Spending in the US was strong, driven by a buoyant labour market and firmer business conditions in the manufacturing sector.”

It added that fishing tackle retailers in Japan enjoyed strong new year sales before a weakening due to cold weather and heavy snowfalls. However, the sector still managed to exceed last year’s comparative sales levels.

That was the same in Europe despite stagnant sales due to poor weather, other factors and increased distributor inventories in the major markets of Germany and the UK. It added that sales in China, South Korea and southeast Asia remained robust, though the performance of Taiwan was affected by cyclones that hit the country in March. The Australian market experienced similar problems in the quarter.

Shimano also reported that its 2018 Bantam MGL baitcasting reel and the new Stella were well received in Japan. Overall, fishing net sales were 17,151 million yen, with operating income increasing 65.8% to 2,209 million yen.

Shimano’s bicycle components operation – by far its biggest division – saw sales grow by 5.1% in the first quarter of 2018 to 68,000 million yen.

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