Mobility scooters have played their part in helping a major mobility and leisure equipment group fight back against tough market conditions, poor weather and changing buying habits.
Tandem Group, which owns mobility scooter providers, Expressco and Pro Rider, saw its revenues struggle in the first half of 2018 against poor weather and large overstocks with ‘a certain national retailer’, its latest trading update reveals.
It began to recover in the second half of 2018 with sales increasing around 6%. Revenues for the year ended 31 December 2018 are currently put at £33m, with the group’s fall results to be published next month.
Revenue in the Expressco business reduced during 2018, principally due to a changing buying pattern from one customer in the early part of the year. However, the second half performed strongly with a double digit increase in revenue. Overall, Expressco’s profitability increased over the year.
Tandem’s trading update stated that while is continues to drive sales on its own websites it cannot ignore the potential from third party sites and so is looking at these sales platforms too.
It said: “We continued our drive to improve our gross margin by improving supplier buying prices in the businesses for a number of our products.
“Over 600 new products were introduced across the group during the year which also helped to improve gross margin.”
The toy and outdoor leisure markets, which Tandem primarily operates in, were particularly challenging in 2018 but the group maintains a positive outlook for 2019.
The group’s statement added: “We have secured additional business with several national retailers and expect to increase revenue, based on current listings, with a number of others.
“We are optimistic about the outlook for 2019. Whilst we are mindful of macro-economic uncertainties, we expect to achieve significant turnover growth and we continue to be extremely confident in our ability to deliver profitability to our shareholders.”
Image: Pro Rider’s Eydon mobility scooter. Credit: Pro Rider