Kalashnikov e UZI ad aria compressa - gz
By: GZ on Martedì 24 Agosto 2004 12:57
Dopo il boom di ^Taser#^, (la società americana che fabbrica un arma non letale che da una specie di scossa ed è adottata anche dalla polizia), c'è spazio anche per le armi ad aria compressa di CyberGun in Francia, simbolo CYB ??
(Web site: ^www.cybergun.com#http://www.cybergun.com/^)
Il fatturato è salito del +63% l'anno scorso e capisco perchè. Il campionario contiene esatte replica di Kalashnikov, M-16, UZI e ogni altra possibile arma esistente al mondo, tutto ad ad aria compressa e che sparano pallottoline di gomma non letali. Devo dire la verità, è bellissimo, ci fossero stati quando ero piccolo, se uno deve fare dei regali a figli o nipoti sono perfetti
French Firm's Replica Weapons Are Going Great Guns
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
PARIS (Dow Jones)--Jerome Marsac may be one of Europe's biggest arms dealers, but he has no trouble sleeping at night: None of his guns has ever killed or maimed anyone.
His young company, Cybergun SA (7456.FR), sells lifelike air-powered replicas of real small arms. Booming U.S. business now accounts for two-thirds of the company's sales from a standing start three years ago.
Cybergun's sales rose 63% in the year ended March 31 to EUR19.95 million and Marsac reckons they'll hit EUR30 million this year, compared with less than EUR2 million in 1996.
Profitability is rising, too, with sales rising much faster than fixed costs. The company expects operating margin will jump to 17% in the current fiscal year from 11% in 2003-04. Net profit is targeted to reach 9% of sales this year, up from 5% in fiscal 2003.
Cybergun's replicas, ranging from the famed 1911 Colt .45 automatic pistol to the AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle, fire small pellets with not much more force than a peashooter using compressed air provided by CO2 gas cartridges, electric motors or hand cocking.
Financial analysts say the company has hit the sweet spot in the toy market.
With sentiment turning against real firearms in some countries, there's a burgeoning market for lookalikes that can't harm anyone.
Cybergun's success is hardly surprising in the U.S., where gun culture, although fraying at the edges, remains rampant. It sells its products through a fast-growing sales network of sporting goods chain stores and general retailers and has opened three stores under its Softair brand.
The move into the American market came at a time when sales in France and western Europe were much weaker. Marsac says he's now keen to develop sales in Russia and eastern Europe where he foresees good demand, but the U.S. remains the key priority.
Cybergun outsources its production to nine manufacturers in Asia, with the bulk of its costs - and now revenue - are now in dollars, giving the company a natural hedge against currency fluctuations. The acquisition earlier this year of its U.S. distributor reduced dependence on one major customer and improved
Manufacturers in Asia have been making gun replicas for years, but almost always without bothering to acquire licenses. Cybergun was itself caught selling imitations of Beretta pistols in the 1990s, but since that misstep has become a fierce defender of its territory and takes legal action against importers and
distributors when it finds imitations.
One of Cybergun's smartest strategic moves was to negotiate exclusive European or worldwide licenses with 18 arms manufacturers including Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWB), Colt's Manufacturing Co., Uzi maker Israel Military Industries Ltd. and Carl Walther Sportwaffenfabrik to make replica soft air guns
or toys based on famous weapons.
"It's all about brands, and in a sense we're a bit like the luxury industry," Marsac says. "Smith & Wesson, Colt and Kalashnikov are brands that are known world wide, just like fashions or perfume. We're developing these brands with a bit of a French touch."
Because it has snared most of the available licenses, Cybergun enjoys a virtual monopoly. Western Arms of Japan owns the Beretta license, but 95% of its sales are confined to Japan. Cybergun actually stocks Western Arms products in its stores.
In the wake of a number of highly publicized mass murders involving firearms, some governments - notably the U.K. - are clamping down on the sale and use of air guns. Britain's 2003 Anti-social Behaviour Act sets tough penalties for anyone carrying anything that looks like a firearm in public without good
reason. What's more, it forbids anyone under the age of 14 from using a soft air pistol anywhere without adult supervision.
Cybergun got its start in life by retailing pistols for around EUR50 to EUR80, but quickly realized that there was a huge untapped market for replicas of "long" small arms, such as the AK-47, the M-16 and the Famas assault rifle used by the French army.
Bigger and more sophisticated products mean more revenue per unit sold. "Rambo's" M60 machine gun sells for EUR900, for example. And margins are much fatter, too.
Marsac reckons that the market for replica guns and accessories - consumables such as plastic pellets, gas cartridges and targets represent 25% of overall sales - is growing at an annual rate of 8%. The company estmates the market will be worth $1.12 billion in 2004 compared with $819 million in 2000.