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May 2, 2011 – Finance Digest

May 9, 2011
Filed under Features

HARLEY-DAVIDSON GENERATES INCREASED EARNINGS

Harley-Davidson Inc. generated increased earnings, and worldwide dealer new motorcycle sales grew for the first quarter of 2011, although U.S. sales were slightly down, according to a release from the company.
The company reported first quarter income from continuing operations of $119.3 million compared to income from continuing operations of $68.7 million in the year-ago period.
Worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 3.5 percent in the first quarter compared to last year’s first quarter. Dealers sold 17,904 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in international markets, an 11.3-percent increase compared to last year’s first quarter, and 31,691 new motorcycles in the U.S., down 0.5 percent, compared to the year-ago period.
Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the year-ago period.
“We are pleased by the growth of our dealers’ new motorcycle sales on a worldwide basis, led by strength in Europe, even as we continue to encounter some headwinds in the U.S. related to the challenging macro-economic conditions,” Harley-Davidson CEO Keith Wandell said in a release.
The company’s improved first-quarter earnings performance was driven by operating income from financial services, which climbed 154.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010. Operating income from motorcycles and related products was flat, which Harley said was impacted by expected inefficiencies related to the restructuring and implementation of the new operating system at the company’s manufacturing operations.
“Our entire team remains focused on transforming our company to be leaner, more agile and more effective than ever at delivering great products and experiences to an increasingly global community of customers,” Wandell said. “Harley-Davidson’s results for the quarter reflect the continued improvement at HDFS, as well as the near-term inefficiencies related to the transformation underway in manufacturing operations at York [Pennsylvania]. We expect to continue to see an impact on our motorcycles segment financial performance in the coming quarters as we complete the transformation of our York operations. When this manufacturing transition is completed next year, we will have a best-in-class, flexible, lean operating structure that we expect will yield substantial ongoing savings.”
Wandell said that despite overall progress, the company is maintaining a cautious outlook for the year.

KTM SEES PROFIT, MARKET SHARE GROWTH

KTM Group reported a 14 million euro profit for its 16-month 2009-’10 fiscal year, which ran Sept. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2010.
Despite that success, CEO Stefan Pierer wrote in his letter to investors, “The 2009-10 business year proved to be extremely challenging for the KTM group.”
The profit gain for the Austria-based manufacturer is an improvement over the 12-month period of 2008-’09, which saw an 81.4 million euro decrease. A 16-month period was used for 2009-’10 because the balance sheet was moved.
KTM sold more than 85,000 units worldwide in 2009-’10, with motorcycles accounting for 98 percent of sales, followed by 1,641 ATVs and 127 X-Bow sports cars. The motocross segment saw the largest increase with nearly 18,000 motorcycles sold, up 108 percent over the previous year, while enduro bikes were up 33 percent to about 37,000 units. Street bike sales rose 19 percent, with the biggest jump in the street travel enduro sector at 60 percent. Naked bike sales increased 31 percent, and superbikes were up 38 percent. Sport minicycle sales were down 2 percent. Group sales were up 28 percent in North America, 29 percent in Europe and 39 percent throughout the rest of the world.
U.S. market share grew 1.5 percentage points to 3.6 percent, even though registrations in the country fell 18.2 percent to 482,159 vehicles. The United States accounted for an 18.1 percent share in sales in the 2009-’10 fiscal year, so it remains KTM’s largest single market.

DUCATI NORTH AMERICA REPORTS SALES GROWTH

Ducati North America has reported a 68-percent retail sales increase in its first quarter over the same period in 2010.
It was the third-consecutive quarter of growth, according to the company. Increased sales were seen throughout the 2011 model lineup.
The Diavel, Monster 1100EVO and Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak Special Edition are expected to bring in more sales in the coming months.

POLARIS REPORTS RECORD FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

Polaris Industries Inc. reported record first quarter net income of $47.3 million for the quarter ended March 31. By comparison, 2010 first quarter net income was $19.8 million. Sales for the first quarter 2011 totaled $537.2 million, an increase of 49 percent from last year’s first quarter sales of $361.7 million.
Based on Polaris’ performance during the 2011 first quarter and projections for the remainder of the year, the company is increasing its full year sales and earnings guidance for 2011. The company now expects full year 2011 earnings to be in the range of $5.53 to $5.68 per diluted share, an increase of between 29 and 33 percent over earnings of $4.28 per diluted share for the full year 2010.

KAWASAKI PROMOTES MEMBERS OF SALES STAFF

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. promoted six members of its national sales staff this month. One existing senior district manager was also given responsibilities in a newly created position.
The announcements, made by President Tak Teranishi, were effective April 1 and involve each of Kawasaki’s regional offices.
Peter Wilson, a 20-year Kawasaki veteran from Tabernacle, N.J., has taken over the position of regional sales director in the East Region. Wilson assumes the title that had been held by Bill Jenkins, the company’s vice president, sales. Jenkins managed the regional sales effort while simultaneously heading the national organization and is now devoting full-time efforts to Kawasaki’s overall sales growth.
The sales team members who have been made senior district managers will have responsibility for assisting the regional sales directors as a communications liaison with dealers and district managers. Each of them will also be assigned special projects with an emphasis on increasing Kawasaki brand awareness, as well as retail sales, according to Kawasaki.
The East Region’s new senior district manager is John Rathyen. Rathyen, who lives in Jackson, N.J., has been with Kawasaki since 2002, following a lengthy career in powersports retail sales.
Gary Langston, who started his career with Kawasaki’s Central Region sales team in 1977 and is one of the company’s longest-serving employees, assumes the senior district manager position for that area.
The South Region’s new senior district manager is Chris Morton, a resident of Winter Garden, Fla., and a Kawasaki employee since 2006.
Richard Perrin of Roseville, Calif., who joined Kawasaki in 2008, has been promoted to the senior district manager position for the company’s West Region.
Mark Hosbach, formerly a senior district manager in the South Region, assumes a newly created position as senior manager, four wheel market and sales development. PSB

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