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MIXED YEAR FOR KAWASAKI

Annual results for the motorcycle division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries contrasted rising sales volume and revenue with deteriorating profitability. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

For the 12 months of its fiscal year to 31 March 2019, Kawasaki’s bike business enjoyed an above-forecast 7.6% revenue increase to £2.477bn. But operating profit was 5.8% down at a mere £100m and operating margin dropped from an already puny 4.5% to 4%. Higher marketing, admin and raw material costs were mainly blamed for these declines. Four-times World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea’s extravagant wages weren’t deemed worthy of a mention.

Wholesale motorcycle volume shipped to dealers in developed countries, principally across Europe and North America, climbed by 8.6% to 165,000 units. Associated turnover was 8.1% up to £914m. Motorcycles for emerging markets, mostly in Asia, rose by 12.6% to 385,000 units — yielding a revenue hike of 9.1% to £640m.

Sales of utility vehicles, quadbikes and personal watercraft improved by 6% to 70,000 units, with related turnover 4% up to £562m. General-purpose petrol engines added 9.5% to £361m. 

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