Honda’s third-quarter financial results to 31 December 2012 present a downbeat picture for its motorcycle business, with a rise in revenue lagging well behind the rest of the company and profitability falling.
Motorcycle-related revenue during the three months increased by six per cent to £2.14bn. But resultant operating profit fell by 11.8 per cent to £158m. The drop was attributed to negative foreign exchange effects despite cost reductions. By comparison, car performance in the same period was on a roll, with the revenue climbing by 32 per cent to £13.3bn and operating profit surging to £492m from a loss of £117m a year earlier.
Global bike sales volume was up by 5.7 per cent to 3.815 million units. Asia accounted for the bulk of this — stacking on eight per cent to 3.225 million units, led by India and Thailand. Europe was responsible for a mere 29,000 units, down by 6.5 per cent. North America recovered by a muscular 29 per cent to 62,000 units but this was more than offset by a 9.7 per cent decline representing 48,000 fewer units in “other regions” — principally Brazil.
For the nine months of the current financial year to date, Honda’s motorcycle revenue is down by 2.6 per cent at £6.87bn. Associated operating profit has fallen by 22.5 per cent to £590m. However, global bike sales volume has grown by 5.8 per cent to 11.532 million units. For the full year to 31 March 2013, the company has now reduced its forecast by a marginal 0.3 per cent to a total of 15.52 million units.