Strong global sales boost premium cycling brand, Rapha, as it gears up US presence

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Rapha, the premium cycling brand, has reported a 37% increase in sales to £39m in the year to end 1 February 2015, continuing the trend of the past five years and driven by increased focus on Rapha’s positioning as the leading lifestyle brand connecting customers to road cycling.

Like-for-like sales grew by 34%, supported by excellent online sales in all territories as well as great performances in the New York and Sydney stores.

Group EBITDA increased to £2m, up 93% on previous year, outpacing rate of sales.

Rapha  continued to invest in its global store network, Cycle Clubs, which currently receive more than 350,000 visits a year and act as hubs where road cycling enthusiasts can connect with the sport. This included the expansion of the London club, as well as further openings in Manchester and Tokyo.

During the year, the company also launched the Rapha Cycling Club, already the largest cycling members club in the world, with more than 3,000 paying members, and increased offering in Rapha Travel further strengthening customer engagement with the brand.

Since the year end, Rapha has opened three new sites including Los Angeles Cycle Club, launching November, taking total number of permanent Cycle Clubs to 10, with further openings planned in key US cities next year.

Simon Mottram, Rapha’s founder and chief executive, said: “Rapha has had another fantastic year and we continue to position ourselves for further growth in all our global markets.  Rapha was set up to connect lovers of cycling with the sport, and we’ve made huge strides this year strengthening this relationship with our customers.  Our expanded Cycle Club retail network, our newly launched Cycling (members) Club, and our travel business all connect us, and keep us relevant for our customers.

“Since the year end we’ve continued our focus on the opportunity in North America, the largest road cycling market in the world. We’ve seen a great response to our Cycle Club stores in San Francisco, New York, as well as the pop up clubs in Denver and Chicago, and we believe there is huge potential for further growth for Rapha in the US, the world’s largest cycling market.  The upcoming opening of our Los Angeles Cycle Club, and the recent appointment of Brendan Quirk as President for North America, illustrates our commitment to fulfilling this potential.”