Register / Sign in

Financial

12/08/2019

Despite obfuscating finer detail by rolling its motorcycle division in with power products to create a new “land mobility” business segment, Yamaha cannot conceal the fact that recovery hasn’t exactly gone according to plan in results for the first half of 2019. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Six-monthly global revenue from motorcycles fell by 1.6% to £3.913bn. Total sales volume was 3.5% down to 2.516 million bikes.

Turnover from developed markets was 3.6% lower at £977m. The European contribution dropped marginally by 0.8% to £612m. North America sank by 10.7% to £172m. Japan delivered a 4.4% decline on £153m. Australia and New Zealand were 5.6% down to £40m. Volume in Europe was 3.8% up to 109,000 bikes but North America retreated by 8.6% to 32,000 and Japan fell by 6.1% to 46,000.

A company statement said that developed-markets motorcycle revenue had “decreased due to yen appreciation against the euro, but operating income was at the same level as the previous fiscal year thanks to increased unit sales in Europe.” In fact, Yamaha confessed to an operating loss in developed markets during the equivalent period last year and this was a polite way of admitting its repeat performance. Negative operating margin percentages gave the game away, minus 3.4% in the first half of 2018 worsening slightly to minus 3.6% in 2019.

Emerging markets were a bit brighter, although overall turnover, volume and profit also suffered. While sales volume in Asia slipped by 3.3% to 2.115 million bikes, associated revenue increased by 0.3% to £2.538bn. However, Latin America and elsewhere fell by 7.7% to £397m and total emerging-markets revenue was 0.9% down to £2.936bn. Again, operating income data specific to motorcycles failed to appear. But operating margin declined from 8.4% to 6.3%.

Returning to the "land mobility" segment, of which motorcycles are the overwhelming constituent, revenue was just 0.4% lower at £4.369bn. Operating profit plunged by 22.9% to £166m. For Yamaha as a whole, turnover was 0.5% up to £6.735bn. Operating profit dropped by 16.1% to £543m and net profit was 8.4% down to £411m.