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GOOD NEWS PILES UP AT PIERER

KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas parent Pierer Mobility has delivered another record full-year 2021 performance. But, more significantly, its results statement also promised an over-15kW motorcycling future dependent on internal combustion engines fuelled by carbon-free petroleum substitutes rather than electricity. BDN financial editor Roger Willis leads the applause.

Annual revenue climbed by 33.4% to £1.733bn. As previously reported, global motorcycle sales volume was 23.1% up to 332,881 machines across Pierer’s three headline brands. Pedal bicycle sales, variously under Husqvarna, R Raymon and GasGas branding and the majority of them electrically-assisted, grew by 40.2% to 102,753.

Associated operating profit stacked on 80.5% to £164.1m. Operating margin improved to 9.5% from 7% a year earlier. Net profit more than doubled, surging by 105.6% to £121.2m. A dividend of 85p per share was therefore proposed — doubling value of the last dividend payment.

During 2021, Pierer made investments of £172.3m in further growth, of which £111.2m was dedicated to product development and tooling. At the year-end, it had a total of 5249 employees, 4340 of them in Austria.

All of this was achieved, according to the company: “despite the challenging situation in international supply chains on the one hand and risks due to the Covid-19 pandemic on the other.”

Forecasts for 2022 are now inevitably loaded with cautionary remarks too. “Challenges in supply chains must be expected to continue, as capacity and supply bottlenecks at individual suppliers and in international transport logistics may lead to delays with deliveries,” said the statement.

“In addition, it is also important to keep a close eye on geopolitical risks. Particularly, the war in Ukraine will have a negative impact on the global economy. The business of Pierer Mobility Group is not directly affected by the military conflict. Indirectly, however, the risk is growing — primarily due to further increases in energy and raw material costs, as well as negative effects on the capital markets.”

Pierer then proceeded with a token spot of greenwash: “In line with the strategic objective of contributing to emissions reduction and emission neutrality for motorcycles, the focus of development work in the years to come will increasingly be on alternative drive systems in the segment up to 15kW. At least three electric platforms with multiple products will be introduced by 2024.” 

But saving the best until last, the statement concluded by saying: “In the range above this, efforts will focus on the technological advancement of conventional forms of propulsion with synthetic fuels for avoiding carbon. The goal is to fully exploit innovation and development potential in the field of electric mobility and to help shape the growing market with internal combustion engines powered by e-fuels.”

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 30 March

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