Helmet technology company Mips, the Swedish brand behind the helmet safety system seen in many big-name brands' lids, recorded a slump in the third quarter, blaming weak demand in cycling for a 32 per cent fall in sales compared with the same period last year.
Net sales for the three-month period totalled SEK 77 million (£5.68 million) compared with SEK 113 (£8.34 million) last year, the 'Sport' category of the business which includes cycling sales declining by 29 per cent year-over-year, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports.
The figures come just eight months after a "drastic slowdown" in demand was cited as sales slumped by 46 per cent in the final quarter of 2022, signalling the end of a "challenging" year that has continued in 2023 for the bike industry.
CEO Max Strandwitz says the company can "remain confident" despite the bruising figures and that other metrics suggest progress.
"When we analyse data from our major bike channels, we see that despite the impact of inventory corrections, we successfully continued to take market share and increase market penetration of helmet models with Mips' safety system," he said.
"We therefore remain confident about our long-term growth opportunities in the bike sub-category once the market starts to normalise."
Elsewhere, the company also suffered a 68 per cent drop in net sales in the motorcycle category, but said it expects a successful winter ski helmet season in North America signalled by a rise in pre-season orders compared with last year.
In February, the Stockholm-based company said it had seen a "substantial negative impact on sales" from the "drastic slowdown in the bike sector" in the second half of last year, with net sales down 46 per cent in Q4.
At the time Strandwitz, who is also Mips' president, predicted that the bike industry will "start to recover" this year.
"We stand by our earlier assessment that the bike market will start to recover during spring 2023," he predicted.
"Our assessment is still that over time there will be excellent opportunities for growth and solid consumer demand in the bike category, mainly driven by our increased market penetration and the strong underlying trends regarding these types of helmets."
The latest comments about the weak demand in the cycling market mirrors much of what Shimano, the Japan-based components giant, said last week as it revealed that sales of its bicycle components had fallen by a quarter during the opening nine months of the year, with the European market hardest hit and forecast to drop by half in the second half of 2023.
Due to its strength in componentry, Shimano is seen as something of a bellwether for the cycling industry as a whole, overall bicycle component sales falling by 24.8 per cent compared to the first nine months of 2022.
Shimano said that the global economy remains “lacklustre” due to factors including the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as well as rises in interest rates imposed by central banks to try and curb inflation.
Commenting specifically on the cycling segment which accounts for a little over three quarters of its total revenue, the business said: "Although the strong interest in bicycles [during the pandemic] cooled down, interest in bicycles continued to be high as a long-term trend. On the other hand, market inventories generally remained high, despite ongoing supply and demand adjustments."
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.