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SUZUKI ON THE CUSP OF RECOVERY

Full-year results for Suzuki Motor Corporation’s motorcycle division were the usual tale of falling revenue and lack of profit. But there may finally be light at the end of its loss-making tunnel. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2017, bike revenue fell by 11.8% to £1.413bn. But the previous fiscal year’s associated operating loss of £70m was reduced dramatically to just £6.2m through judicious cost-cutting.

Global sales volume actually grew by 1.5% to 1.047 million bikes. Positivity came entirely from a 6.3% improvement to 742,000 machines in Asian markets. Best performance was from India, increasing by 12.1%. Europe was 4.3% down at 45,000 and North America sank by 13.2% to 33,000. Other regions were 11.9% lower at 163,000. Sales in Japan dropped marginally by 1.6% to 61,000. 

But, as the company pointed out, a swathe of fresh models led by its new GSX-R1000 in the developed world and a GSX-R150 baby Gixxer for emerging countries were launched too late to have an impact on the figures. From a European perspective, the key upbeat indicator was 23.1% Japanese domestic production growth to 133,000 units. All of Suzuki’s more sophisticated bigger-ticket offerings destined for western markets are made in Japan.

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