Taiwan's top-2 bicycle makers garnered record revenues in 2004

Jan 18, 2005 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι General Items Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Jan. 18, 2005 (CENS)--Taiwan's top-two bicycle makers, Giant Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd. And Merida Industry Co., Ltd., both raked in record-high annual revenues in 2004.

Giant's special assistant to chairman Hsu Li-chung said the U.S. and European markets are expected to show robust demand for high-end bike models this year in 2005, adding that his company's capacity has been booked till June.

Merida's vice president Chen Wen-hsiang said that his company's production lines have been fully loaded with orders until the end of the first quarter of 2005.

Giant's Taiwan plant generated revenue of NT$8.81 billion (US$273.6 million at US$1: NT$33.8) in 2004, up 27.94% from a year earlier and hitting the highest monthly high since the firm's inception 33 years ago.

The aggregate revenues of the Giant Group amounted to NT$21.37 billion (US$663.66 million) in 2004, up 16.48% from NT$18.35 billion (US$569.84 million) of 2003. The world's No. 1 bike manufacturing conglomerate turned out 5.6 million bikes in 2004, up 23.6% from 4.53 million units in 2003. The group's Taiwan plant alone turned out 904,000 units, up 19.8%.

Giant claimed that it would continue to expand its operations in mainland China in 2005, including a second-stage expansion project at its plant in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The Chengdu plant is expected to see an annual output capacity of 400,000 units in 2006.

Merida registered revenue of NT$698.45 million (US$21.69 million) in December 2004, up 36.62% from the same month of 2003 and hitting the highest monthly level in the firm's 33-year history. The company's 2004 revenue also hit record high of NT$5.24 billion (US$162.73 million), up 17.39% from a year earlier.

Merida's Chen attributed his company's brilliant sales performance to the completion of global sales channels in 2004, which helped the company shipped over 90% of bikes sold under its own brand.

Chen claimed that Merida-branded bikes have been increasingly popular with customers around the world due to high quality and good functions. Last year, he explained, the average unit export price rose 25.89% to US$306.13 from 2003's US$243.17.
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