Rapha sales continue on right track

The founder and CEO of the Rapha cycling brand, Simon Mottram, says the company's "direct to consumer business model" is helping to pedal growing sales and improving profitability.

In the year to 31 January 2016 the brand's following has continued to grow internationally and digitally, helping total sales jump by 25.6% to £48.8 million and EBITDA increase by 79% to £3.5 million. Profit before tax was up by 145% to £1.1 million for the 12-month period.

US/Canada sales grew 28%, while Asia Pacific sales leapt 29% and Europe sales increased by 23%. Online sales now represent 72% of total sales with strong growth reported in all regions supported by the company's SAP Hybris eCommerce platform.

Last year also saw the roll out of the organisation's retail and café Clubhouse concept. A further three physical Clubhouses were opened in Amsterdam, Kilver Court and London Spitalfields during the period, while in the months since year-end cyclists in Seoul, Copenhagen and Chicago have seen the concept appear in their cities.

"At the heart of our business is the global Rapha Cycling Club (RCC), with local chapters created at each Clubhouse around the world," explained Mottram.

"We have seen exceptional growth to date, with thousands of club members now cycling and socialising together, connecting with the sport through Rapha. This membership model is profitable and extremely successful for us, contributing to our growth and providing a strong community platform for the future of the brand and business."

RCC launched back in December 2014 and there are now over 7,600 paying members. Meanwhile, the Rapha board says strong growth and positive trading has continued in 2016 to date, with sales currently up 30% and apparently unaffected by the UK's decision to leave the UK earlier this summer.

Mottram added: "Through our aspirational brand and unique business model we will continue to focus on developing international markets as we pursue our growth plans.

"We will continue our investment in infrastructure in the next 12 months, including launching five new Clubhouses in the US alone, and will continue to focus on delivering the best products and an unrivalled customer experience."

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