Online cycling retailer Wiggle has recorded a jump in annual sales and profits driven by fast growth across Europe and strong UK performance. 

Sales increased 19% to £168m for the year ending February 2 and contributed to underlying EBITDA, which strips out currency movements, growing 19% to £16.4m.

Wiggle said it is now the biggest global retailer of triathlon products following the sales surge that has resulted in it overtaking sales of rival Chain Reaction.

Last month Chain Reaction reported a 6% drop in sales in the 12 months to December 31, 2013, from £155.6m to £144.9m.

Wiggle chief executive Stefan Barden said: “The underlying performance of the business in the year has been strong, with fast growth in Europe and clear evidence of further market share gains in the UK.”

The Tour de France had less of a sales boost this year despite the competition coming to Yorkshire in the summer as a result of the top British cyclists pulling out through injury.

Barden said: “We have seen a smaller impact on the industry than in prior years and we see that as the yellow jersey effect. The UK public lost some interest after Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins crashed out, whereas in the prior years the anticipation increased.”

Barden admitted the company “overstretched” itself with its international ambitions and has now reduced the number of countries it delivers to from 120 to 70. It is particularly focusing on 21 key markets.

Wiggle made the changes in January and Barden said the countries it withdrew from accounted for roughly 0.01% of sales.

Barden said: “The momentum has continued into the current financial year with major investment projects underway to not only drive profitable growth but also provide the capacity and infrastructure to support and manage it.

“As a major exporter, ongoing currency headwinds - particularly the recent euro weakness - are unhelpful, but we continue to evolve the business model to better cope with these external pressures.”

During the financial year, Wiggle invested in its ‘Never Beaten on Price’ promise and invested further in its service proposition and improved delivery options through more payment choices.

Following the close of the financial year on February 2, Wiggle claims trading momentum has continued and it has continued its international expansion with the launch of a local website for Sweden, its tenth website.

It has also appointed Adam Johnson as its Australian general manager as it opens an office in the country.

Bridgepoint-owned Wiggle appointed Stefan Barden as chief executive during its last financial year, while Giles David joined this year from BrightHouse as finance director.