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TWO WHEELS GOOD FOR PIAGGIO

Solid input from Piaggio Group’s powered two-wheeler brands satisfactorily overwhelmed a decline in its light commercial vehicle business during the first quarter of 2017, BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total revenue for the three-month period was a mere 0.7% up to £262.1m. Operating profit, at £9.3m, also grew by 0.7%. Net profit improved by 17.9% but only amounted to £1.3m. However, scooter and motorcycle sales volume rose by 10.3% to 82,500 units. Associated revenue, including spares and accessories, increased by 5.2% to £185.6m.

Piaggio’s overall European bike market share strengthened from 13.6% to 14.2%. The scooter sector alone in Europe was up from 24.5% to 26.4% — 10 percentage points ahead of its nearest rival. The company also doubled scooter sales volume in India, having added the Aprilia brand to an established Vespa presence. A strong North American scooter market share of 21.6% was also maintained.

Scooter volume in Vietnam fell but was offset by sales in Thailand increasing with the inclusion of Aprilia and Moto Guzzi motorcycle brands alongside Vespa and Piaggio scooter offerings. A major contribution came from February’s opening of Motoplex Bangkok, Piaggio’s largest flagship multi-brand store in South-East Asia and one of the biggest Motoplex outlets worldwide.

Purely in the motorcycle sector, global sales for Moto Guzzi were 7.1% up during the quarter, led by V9 Roamer and Bobber, California and V7 products. And the Aprilia RSV4 1000 stacked on 21% growth.

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