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HONDA: SHARP AS EVER

At the mid-point of its current fiscal year, the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer was easily thrashing competitors on almost every parameter. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Revenue for the April-September period stacked on a muscular 38% to £8.47bn. Operating profit went utterly ballistic, 51.7% up to £1.347bn. Operating margin improved to 15.9%, from 14.5% in the equivalent six months of last year. To put such an achievement in context, motorcycle business profitability exceeded the combined operating profit of Honda’s car manufacturing and automotive finance businesses by 6.3%.

Global wholesale bike shipments were 12.6% higher at 9.202 million. Asian markets took the biggest slice, 14.2% up to 7.9 million. Within that, India led the field, rising by 36.1% to 2.31 million. Vietnam put on 25.3% to 1.147 million. Thailand was 44.9% up to 702,000. But Indonesia slumped by 9.1% to 1.733 million. Pakistan and China were also lower, the former affected by large-scale flooding and the latter by ongoing mass Covid lockdowns. 

Other emerging regions increased by 12.3% to 824,000. Among them, Brazil was by far the biggest player, 12.2% up to 567,000.

Developed markets weren’t so enthralling. Europe was worst performer, 21.7% down to 144,000. Japanese domestic sales fell by 9.5% to 114,000. North America grew by a thin 2.8% to 220,000.

Honda said that continuing semiconductor supply shortages have been overcome to a great extent by utilising alternative parts and replacing some models with machines that required less complex electronics. The brand has also made a commitment to introducing more than ten electric models globally by 2025, and is aiming for annual electric motorcycle sales of approximately 3.5 million by 2030. 

For its full fiscal year to the end of March 2023, Honda has made some revisions to sales volume forecasts. The total number of bikes shipped to dealers is now expected to rise by 8.2% to 18.43 million, 130,000 fewer than originally envisaged. Europe’s allocation has been cut by 20,000 to 335,000. But North America will get an additional 5000 to reach 445,000.

Yen-Sterling currency translation at forex rates applicable on 10 November  

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