Chain Reaction cycles itself to earnings surge

Michael Bow
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CHAIN Reaction Cycles, the family owned online bicycle seller, pedalled to a huge increase in profitability last year after cutting costs and boosting margins.

The northern Irish business, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, said profits rose to £4.8m despite a fall in sales to £144.9m from £155.6m last year.

The company’s directors said they were “extremely pleased” with the results. They shared a £1.5m dividend.

The bike seller said that operating earnings were the best gauge of the firm’s health, and this measure jumped to £6.6m for the year ending 2013 from £2.7m in 2012.

The firm was started by husband and wife duo George and Janice Watson in 1984 and grew from a mail order business into an online retailer. It opened a 10,000sq ft flagship in Belfast three years ago.