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MOPED WOES HIT PIAGGIO

At first glance, Piaggio enjoyed splendid first-quarter 2018 results. But that assumption doesn’t bear close scrutiny relative to its powered two-wheeler business. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Piaggio Group revenue during the first three months of this year rose by 1% to £273.2m. Operating profit grew by 32.4% to £12.7m. Operating margin improved to 4.6% from 3.5%. Net profit shot up by 166.7% to £3.5m. Year-on-year net debt fell by £25.8m to £439.9m.

However, such good fortune was largely attributable to resurgence in Piaggio’s light commercial vehicle operations plus emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere. Quarterly PTW sales volume dropped by 2.3% to 80,600 scooters and motorcycles. Revenue from this sector was 4% down to £183.8m. Decline was variously attributed to severe winter weather and downturn in demand for 50cc products in Europe. Overall, Piaggio PTW unit sales in European and other developed countries fell by 15.9%.  

Inevitably, Piaggio still found plenty to boast about. It benefited from 36.4% scooter volume growth in India. And Asia-Pacific as a whole was 11% up. In Europe, the Group maintained scooter segment leadership with a 23.6% share. In North America, scooter market share reached 24.7%. The Vespa brand increased worldwide sales by about 13%, with a particularly positive contribution from the Indian market, where volume rose by more than 70%.

Motorcycles apparently did very well too. The Aprilia brand achieved a 30.6% increase, with a strong response to Tuono models and the SX50. Thanks primarily to its V7 range, Moto Guzzi flagged up global growth of approximately 18%.

 

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