On the face of it, Yamaha’s motorcycle business did well in the first quarter of 2017. But various influences have taken the shine off its European operation. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.
Global bike revenue for the three months to 31 March rose by 1.2% to £1.59bn, slightly more than 60% of total Yamaha turnover. Thanks to product-mix improvements and cost savings, associated operating profit was sharply up by 84% to £95.5m.
Revenue from emerging markets was the strongest contributor, rising by 4.9% to £1.19bn and generating all the aformentioned profit. Asian countries accounted for £870m, improving by 7.5%. Better unit sales and an increased proportion of higher-priced bikes took credit.
However, overall revenue in developed-world regions was 8.4% down to £402m, afflicted generally by yen appreciation, and an operating loss of £6m was incurred. Within that, turnover in Europe declined by 6.6% to £222m. Specific to the latter, stock shortages due to delayed delivery of new-season models were cited as a factor too.
Power products were also on the back foot, with shipments assailed by an ATV inventory reduction programme in North America. Sector revenue was 12% down to £231m and operating profit dropped by 65.2% to £5m.