Yamaha”s new “Dark Side of Japan” model strategy clearly appears to be working, with a sharp improvement in European bike sales — spearheaded by the MT range — and other developed markets. Evidence for this bounce-back is plentiful in strong results for its first financial quarter to 31 March.
Overall revenue in the three months rose by 9.5 per cent to £2.08bn. Operating profit was up by 59 per cent to £128m. Net profit almosted doubled, growing by 98.4 per cent to £85.5m.
Total global sales volume in the company’s key motorcycle division actually declined by 5.5 per cent to 1.39 million units, due to economic downturns in some big Asian emerging markets like Vietnam and Thailand (although India and Brazil were positive). But higher-margin recovery in Europe, Japan and North America delivered compensation for that. European sales improved by 19.4 per cent to 43,000 units. Japanese dealers did better, up by 53.6 per cent to 38,000 units. The Americans put on 5.5 per cent at 19,000 units.
Worldwide sales revenue from bikes — representing 63 per cent of overall revenue — was up by 2.7 per cent to £1.31bn. Associated operating profit stacked on 27.4 per cent to £22m.
The power products division, which is dominated by quadbike and side-by-side ATVs, also did well thanks to US market recovery. Revenue rose by 23.5 per cent to £173.6m. This yielded an operating profit of £7m, against a loss of £4m in the same period last year.