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PROGRESS FOR PIAGGIO

Maintaining leadership of the European powered two-wheeler market with a 14.8% overall share — and 26.1% of scooter sales — Piaggio Group had plenty to boast about in the first half of 2017. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Piaggio’s global scooter and motorcycle sales volume in the period climbed by 11% to 202,100 units. Including parts and accessories, group revenue from the sector was 6.8% up at £484.9m. Total revenue rose by 2.7% to £649.3m. Operating profit improved by 10.9% to £47.4m and net profit increased by 17.4% to £18.9m.

Net debt fell by £26.6m against the first half of 2016, to £403m. That figure was £36.5m lower than borrowing at the beginning of this year. Nevertheless, it still represents an uncomfortably high gearing ratio.

The only other downside was under-performance by Piaggio’s light commercial vehicles division. Volume was 16.9% down to 78,700 units and revenue fell by 7.8% to £164.4m. Falling demand in the Indian three-wheeler market was held largely responsible.

On two wheels, Piaggio said it had retained a strong 19.1% scooter market share in North America, besides holding station in Europe. Scooter sales in India had almost doubled. Worldwide, the Vespa brand was 9.3% up. Revenue from the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi motorcycle brands also grew, with sales of the Aprilia RSV4 rising by more than 20% and Tuono naked models also making a greater contribution.    
 

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