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During the first quarter of its 2018 fiscal year to 31 March, Yamaha’s motorcycle division weakened in the developed world but did well in emerging nations. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total revenue from bikes was 3.7% up at £1.566bn. Related operating profit rose by 4.3% to £98.5m. Global sales volume grew by just 1% to 1.237 million units.

Across emerging countries, mostly in Asia, revenue improved by 6.2% to £1.25bn, delivering a 20.3% operating profit rise to £121m. Indonesian recovery was a notable factor, with revenue increasing by 25.4% to £519m. The Philippines and Thailand were also up but Vietnam was down. Overall volume added 2% to 1.155 million PTWs.

Developed markets told a different story. Combined revenue fell by 3.4% to £384m. That inflicted a £22.5m operating loss, against a loss of £6m in the same quarter a year earlier. Among significant players, Europe took the hardest spanking, with revenue 4.6% down to £209m and unit sales 18% lower at 41,000. Japanese domestic volume was dead flat on 24,000 but revenue dropped by 2.1% to £64m. North America actually managed a slight 0.8% revenue hike to £90m, although volume declined by 10.5% to 17,000.

Yamaha as a whole boosted its turnover by 5.1% to £2.748bn, of which motorcycles were responsible for 59.5%. Group operating profit enjoyed a 10.5% increase to £279.1m and net profit was 2% up at £219.5m.