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According to full-year 2018 corporate results from Ducati parent Audi, its motorcycle subsidiary faced falling revenue, profit and sales volume last year. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Ducati’s annual revenue declined by 5% to £597m. Based on regular accounting standards applied to other members of the VW/Audi empire, this led to a 10.7% reduction in operating profit to £21m with operating margin dropping from 3.8% to 3.6%. But then the usual bean-counter trickery peculiar to Ducati claimed that, “after adjusting for the effects of subsequent measurement in connection with purchase price allocation”, operating profit was actually just 3.9% down to £42m and operating margin had remained static at 7%.

Production over the year sank by 6% to 53,320 bikes. Some 44,221 of these were made at Bologna in Italy. Ducati’s plant in Thailand accounted for 8150 and its Brazilian contractor DAFRA assembled a further 949.

Total retail sales were 5.1% lower on 53,004, set against a 2.7% retreat for over-500cc tackle worldwide. Good news was reserved for the brand’s superbike and supersports sector, thanks principally to its new V4 Panigale [pictured is the unveiling of the V4R by Ducati Glasgow at last weekend's Scottish Motorcycle Show], with volume 29.1% up to 12,731. Worst afflicted was the naked slot comprising Monster, Diavel and Streetfighter models, plunging by 22.1% to 13,375. Dual-sport Multistrada and Hypermotard products were 6.9% down to 13,761 and Scramblers lost 6.5% at 13,137.

For 2019, Ducati anticipates global larger-capacity motorcycle demand to keep on deteriorating.