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PIAGGIO: THE STING OF SUCCESS

It may seem counter-intuitive to name your historic headline product after an unpleasant insect species. But vespidae are lucky in Pontedera, where Italian scooter giant Piaggio has just notched up its best-ever Q1 results. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Piaggio’s consolidated quarterly revenue to 31 March buzzed 20% up to £477.3m. And a 4.8% increase to 124,700 powered two-wheelers sold worldwide, plus associated spares and accessories, was credited with generating £382.2m of that — in turn a 17.1% increase year-on-year.

The resultant operating profit sting was 62.2% higher at £39.2m. Operating margin climbed from 6.1% to 8.2%. Pre-tax profit rose by 78.7% to £31.9m. And a record-breaking Q1 net profit almost doubled to £21m, against £11.1m in the same period last year. Net debt was reduced by £11.3m to £373.5m.

PTW sales turnover in the EMEA and Americas together was reportedly 21.9% up. On this side of the Atlantic, revenue in Italy grew by 40.3%. In the USA, it was 58.2% higher. The Asia-Pacific region was a more modest contributor, rising by 12.4%.

In Europe, Piaggio claimed a 21.7% share of the scooter market, improving slightly from 21% in Q1 last year. Share of the North American scooter market rose from 24.6% to 26.4%.

Piaggio’s scooter sector as a whole boasted a 16.8% advance in global turnover, led by an 18% increase for the Vespa brand and support from the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeler plus Piaggio Beverley, Medley and Liberty high-wheel scooters.

The motorcycle sector allegedly achieved revenue growth of 12.7%. Moto Guzzi claimed its best-ever quarter, with sales volume up by about 30% and turnover improving by approximately 55%. The new Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello apparently played an important role. Aprilia also signalled an excellent quarterly performance from RSV4, RS660, Tuono 660 and 1100, and Tuareg 660 models. But, as ever, actual unit sales figures for either brand were entirely absent.

 

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 8 May.

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