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NEW ASPIRATIONS FOR SUZUKI

Suzuki Motor Corporation’s motorcycle business blossomed in the first quarter of its new fiscal year to June. A resurgence in Asian sales was largely responsible. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total Q1 revenue soared by 50.1% to £534.5m. Operating profit stacked on 87.4% at £51.5m. Global sales volume rose by 30.4% to 472,000 motorcycles, scooters and ATVs. Asia accounted for 383,000 of them, a 36.3% increase. Associated revenue from Asian countries improved by 53.5% to £242.3m. 

Most notable contributor was India, where volume recovered by 75.8% to 167,000. China added 5.4% to 120,000. The Philippines and Pakistan also received honourable mentions, respectively 27.3% up to 48,000 and 34.9% higher to 10,000.

Developed-world markets were less attractive. The exception was North America, where revenue more than doubled to £92.1m and sales volume grew by 11.7% to 11,000. European turnover did improve significantly, 29.6% up to £70.5m. But volume fell by 9.3% to just 9000. Better large model mix featuring the new GSX-S1000GT and ongoing Hayabusa revival was flagged as useful in both cases. Japanese domestic performance was lamentable. Sales volume declined by 19.5% to 13,000 and revenue virtually flat-lined, a mere 1% up to £37.9m.

Suzuki’s full-year forecast remains unchanged. The motorcycle business plans to make 1.721 million machines, a 3.5% reduction, and sell 1.787 million, a 9% increase. Asian sales are expected to rise by 10.5% to 1.463 million. Most ambitiously, it anticipates a 34.6% increase in European sales to 38,000. A somewhat obtuse reference to introducing Indian-manufactured models to Europe  may have some bearing on this aspiration.

Yen-sterling currency translation at forex rates applicable on 5 August.

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