Oakham-based business now trading from 13 stores says e-bikes one of the key factors behind its success

Rutland Cycling’s continued expansion has seen its turnover pass the £20 million mark in its latest accounts filed at Companies House, and has highlighted growth in sales of electric bikes as one of the key factors in its success.

The Oakham-based business, which last month opened a Giant Band Store in Newport Pagnall, posted turnover of £20.1 million in the year to 28 January 2018, up 25 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Like-for-like sales growth at the 10 stores open throughout the financial year was 6.8 per cent, while growth in e-commerce sales jumped ahead by 46.4 per cent.

In their report, the company’s directors said: "In 2017 Rutland Cycling delivered more strong growth through continued focus on exceptional customer service, building industry-leading partnerships with the most important bike brands in the market and continuing leadership in the e-bike sector.

"This growth was delivered both organically, through existing retail stores and e-commerce, and also by opening two new destination stores, taking the total number of stores to 12.

"Rutland Cycling's geographical expansion continued with the development of a high-profile 10,000 sq ft store in Nottingham and a destination store with cycle hire at leading recreation attraction Pitsford Water in Northamptonshire.

"A feature of the current financial year is investment in improving our systems and technology. We expect that these changes will contribute to more effective management of our business."

The company’s investment in strengthening its management team and opening new stores saw it return an operating loss of £75,999 during the period, which it said was “as expected.”

It said that a downturn in some parts of the traditional bicycle market is being offset by growth in e-bike sales and, because of higher participation levels in cycling, workshop and hire services – the latter available at eight of its stores – meaning it is “particularly well placed to take advantage of these trends.”

Expansion is continuing, with a new store covering 10,000 square feet at the new Everards Meadows brewery redevelopment in Leicester, and agreement close to being reached on two other sites, the company added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.