Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeNEWSFINANCIALMIXED PICTURE AT POLARIS

MIXED PICTURE AT POLARIS

On the face of it, 2018 was a year of strong recovery for dominant US powersports manufacturer Polaris Industries — but motorcycling activities didn’t contribute to such success. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Overall annual revenue climbed by 12% to £4.638bn. Operating profit put on 35.5% to £371.9m. Net profit almost doubled, 94.4% up at £255.8m, as President Trump’s generous corporate tax give-away kicked in. The company’s core off-road vehicles (ORV) division — encompassing side-by-side ATVs, quadbikes and snowmobiles — was primarily responsible for this resurgence. ORV revenue increased by 9.8% to £2.990bn.

As ever, Polaris was economical with details but a very different narrative affected its motorcycle business, featuring Indian bikes and Slingshot trikes. Annual revenue from the sector fell by 5% to £416.3m and fourth-quarter turnover plunged by 15% to just £66.4m. To gesturally explain that latter deterioration, we were told: “Indian sales increased slightly but were more than offset by the decline in Slingshot sales.”

We can assume widely-reported recall issues continue to plague the Slingshot brand. And the shine has gone from Indian because it’s beset with the same shrinking US domestic cruiser market and punitive European tariff problems afflicting Harley-Davidson. To address that export difficulty, Indian intends to “accelerate motorcycle production in Poland” during 2019. (Polaris has an already-established ORV manufacturing base in Poland, to serve the European market.)      
 

RELATED ARTICLES

Product News

ELECTRIC RESISTRATION DATA

After a month’s temporary respite, battery-electric power registrations plummeted once more in May, falling by 23.2% to just 304 units. Overall market share sank...