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HONDA: LEADER OF THE PACK

Against tremendous odds, the performance of Honda motorcycle operations in the past 12 months has been nothing short of breathtaking, as its full-year figures amply demonstrate. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Despite the ongoing impact of Covid infections, semiconductor shortages, logistic bottlenecks and rapidly rising raw material prices, Honda says demand has recovered in most main markets and it has successfully put in place measures to facilitate satisfaction.

As a result, annual motorcycle business revenue rose by 22.3% to £13.802bn. Operating profit was 38.6% up to £1.968bn — more than Suzuki’s entire powered two-wheeler turnover. Operating margin reached 14.3%, up from 12.6% in the previous fiscal year.

Worldwide unit sales volume increased by 12.5% to 17.027 million bikes, an additional 1.895 million but still some way below 19.34 million sold in the pre-Covid 2019/2020 fiscal year.

Asian markets were responsible for much of the recovery, 1.27 million higher at 14.589 million. Strongest advance came from Indonesia, which stacked on 44.2% to 3.873 million. Thailand was also positive, adding 5.3% to 1.164 million. India, once delivering Honda’s biggest headcount globally, was 10.3% in arrears on 3.47 million. Vietnam was slightly behind, 1.6% down to 2.07 million. 

Elsewhere, emerging countries rebounded by 39.5% to 1.44 million. Brazil featured as the major contributor, 43.7% up to 975,000. North America led developed regions, recovering by 31.6% to 437,000. European sales volume improved by 35.5% to 317,000. Japan was 13.5% up to 244,000.

Honda has forecast overall unit sales growth of 9% to 18.56 million bikes in its new 2022/2023 fiscal year. Asia is expected add 9.2% to 15.93 million. Europe should gain 12% to 355,000. North America will only improve by a marginal 0.7%. The company believes unresolved semiconductor availability issues will be the largest impediment.

Yen-sterling currency translation at forex rates applicable on 16 May.     

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