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PIAGGIO REBOUND GATHERS SPEED

Inevitably, Piaggio Group performance in the nine months to September continued to show the deleterious effects of early-season pandemic lockdowns. But third-quarter positivity provided a powerful recovery boost. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

For the year to date, total revenue stood at £893.2m, a 17.2% decline. Turnover from powered two-wheelers fell by 6.7%, contributing £716.5m. Global sales volume during the period was 11.7% down to 284,100 scooters and motorcycles.

Group operating profit dropped by 36.1% to £57.2m, with operating margin deteriorating to 6.4% from 8.3%. Net profit was 36.7% lower at £26.2m. However, operating expenses had been cut by 15.8% to £199.8m in the period. And, although net debt had grown by 8.9% year-on-year to £399.8m, it had fallen by £75.2m in Q3 — thanks to a big surge in cashflow from rapidly recovering sales and “cautious management of working capital”.

According to Piaggio chairman and chief executive Roberto Colaninno, Q3 achieved much better results than he expected. Quarterly revenue apparently grew by about 3%, operating profit was 59% up and net profit 75% higher.

Scooter sales volume rebounded in most major markets, with Vespa products adding double-digit percentages in Germany, the Netherlands, America and various Asian nations, especially China. Moto Guzzi and Aprilia motorcycles also did particularly well.

Returning to the nine-monthly position, India was hardest hit, 50.1% down by volume and losing 37.5% in value. European and American markets did better, with retreats of only 5% by volume and 7.6% in value. The Asia Pacific region actually prospered, as volume increased by 2% and revenue added 7.5%. 

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