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MIXED RESULTS AT HONDA

The performance of Honda’s global motorcycle business during the first half of its fiscal year to 30 September was very much a case of swings and roundabouts, reports BDN financial editor Roger Willis.

Total Honda-branded sales volume over the six months increased by 4.9% to 8.89 million units, with a 11.1% rise to 5.873 million machines manufactured by wholly-owned subsidiaries. Europe was 5.3% up to 120,000 while North America dropped by a marginal 0.7% to 149,000. The Japanese domestic market plunged by 36.1% to 62,000. Asian countries accounted for the bulk, 7.9% up to 8.01 million, thanks to India playing a major role in that. Other regions — predominantly Latin America — were 20.7% down to 549,000.

But a medley of foreign-exchange translation and model-mix issues meant that associated revenue fell by 9.1% to £6.59bn. Operating profit for the sector was 13.3% down to £710m and operating margin declined from 11.3% to 10.8%.

The second quarter of this period ended on a happier note. Total volume added 3.8% to 4.538 million bikes, driven by a 7.1% improvement in Asian sales to 4.125 million. But Europe was flat on 48,000 and North America dropped by 5.4% to 71,000. However, although overall revenue was 9.7% down at £3.2bn, operating profit stacked on 21.3% to £466m — recovering mightily from lamentable first-quarter earnings.  

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