Pretax profit of €170m at world's largest online bike shop


The growth in business at the world’s largest online bike store continued last year with revenues at Chain Reaction Cycles increasing by 25 per cent to £136.4 million (€170 million).

Investment in expansion resulted in pretax profits falling 24.5 per cent to £10 million.

The Co Antrim business owned by the Watson family started as a village shop. It expanded into the Republic last year with the Cork-registered Chain Reaction Cycles Ireland Ltd to provide transactional processing services on behalf of the group. The group sells bikes to more than 100 countries and had 39 per cent of sales outside the EU last year compared to 37 per cent in 2010.

Gross margin narrowed from 35.9 per cent to 32.3 per cent, though directors said this was “acceptable for the year under review given the investment made in the year to prepare the company for further growth in selected geographical markets”.

Managing director Chris Watson, who owns 50 per cent of the firm, shared £3 million with his parents, who have 20 per cent, and three siblings, who have 30 per cent between them.