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June 5, 2006 – Finance Digest

June 5, 2006
Filed under Features

Honda targets sales of 18 million cycles in 2010
Takeo Fukui, president and chief executive officer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., said the manufacturer is targeting sales of 18 million motorcycles in 2010, but indicated that growth is largely dependent upon increases in Asia.
Fukui made the comments during a mid-year speech delivered to investors May 17. To reach its sales goal, he said, Honda is planning to expand motorcycle production capacity in India, the Philippines and Pakistan.
Hero Honda in India is planning to increase capacity of its existing line by 450,000 units as well as build a new plant with annual production capacity of 450,000 units. As a result, annual motorcycle production capacity in India should increase by an additional 900,000 units to 5.2 million units by 2007.
In the Philippines and Pakistan, expansion plans already under way are expected to bring the annual motorcycle production capacity to 14 million units by 2007 — an increase of 6 million units in three years compared to the 8 million unit capacity in 2004.
Fukui said the environmental impact of increased motor vehicle sales in highly populated nations also is a concern to Honda, and said the company plans to work toward a 10 percent reduction in motorcycles’ CO2 emissions by 2010.
To do this, he said, Honda plans to install fuel injection on the majority of models for sale worldwide by the end of 2010. The company also will introduce new engine technologies, such as super-low friction engines, and adapt Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology.
Fukui became the sixth president of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in June 2003. His 37-year career with Honda has included positions as president of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., head of Honda’s global motorsports activities, and president of Honda of America Mfg., Inc.


KTM Half-Year Sales Up 65 percent
Austria’s KTM Power Sports AG said sales for its fiscal first half-year ended Feb. 28 were approximately Euro 235.4 million ($299.5 million), up 65 percent compared to sales of Euro 143.1 million during the same six months in the previous fiscal year.
KTM’s gross margin during the recent six-month period was up 78 percent to Euro 81.4 million ($103.5 million), first-half operating income was up 93 percent to Euro 18.1 million ($23 million), and first-half profit was up 20 percent to Euro 11 million ($14 million).
KTM officials said improved results came from beneficial currency exchange rates, lower production costs and a better product mix.
KTM expects to close the year Aug. 31 with a double-digit sales increase. The company had worldwide sales of approximately $531 million in 2005, up from $490 million in 2004.


Piaggio 1Q Sales Up 19.8 percent
Italy’s Piaggio & Co. SpA closed its first quarter March 31 with a consolidated net profit of Euro 10.2 million ($13 million), up from a loss of Euro 10.9 million ($13.9 million) for the same three-month period in 2005.
First-quarter consolidated sales were Euro 374.2 million ($477 million), up 19.8 percent from sales of Euro 312.3 million ($398 million) for the same period last year.
Company officials said growth in net sales arose mostly from motorcycle sales in the United States and India.


Fairchild Loss Widens in 2Q
The Fairchild Corp., McLean, Va., reported a net loss of $12.1 million or $0.48 per share for its second quarter ended March 31. The company’s results slipped further from a net loss of $3.9 million or $0.15 per share during the same three-month period last year.
Fairchild’s business consists of three segments: sports and leisure, aerospace and real estate operations. Fairchild’s sports and leisure segment, known as Fairchild Sports, is comprised of Hein Gericke, PoloExpress and California-based Fairchild Sports (formerly Intersport Fashions West).
Fairchild said results for the second quarter of the previous year were affected by an investment income of $5.8 million and a $2.7 million increase in the market value of an interest rate contract.
Fairchild revenues for the second quarter ended March 31 were $62.96 million, down 21.1 percent from $79.83 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2005.
The company’s sports and leisure segment had revenues of $43.3 million, down $13.1 million from the same three months last year. Company officials said the difference was due primarily to a $5.8 million decline in U.S. business and currency fluctuations.
For the first six months of fiscal 2006, Fairchild posted a loss of $10.24 million or $0.40 per share compared to a loss of $3 million or $0.12 per share for the same period last year.
First-half consolidated revenue fell from $144.3 million during the year-ago period to $114.5 million. The company’s sports and leisure segment had first-half revenues of $77.7 million.
At a shareholders meeting March 8, Fairchild Chairman and CEO Jeffrey J. Steiner announced the company’s board of directors has appointed a committee of independent directors to consider issues regarding going private.
While no decision has been made to take the company private, Steiner said the committee has hired its own outside legal counsel with respect to such matters, and has had some preliminary discussions with an investment banker.

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