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POLARIS IN THE RED

Blaming a collapse in sales for its core off-road vehicle (ORV) division in mid-March, owing to the coronavirus outbreak, US powersports manufacturer Polaris Industries was forced to book a bottom-line loss in first-quarter 2020 results. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total quarterly revenue was 6.1% down to £1.13bn. Operating profit slumped by 93.3% to a mere £4.4m, culminating in a net loss of £4.3m — against a net profit of £38.9m in the equivalent period last year.

ORV turnover declined by 5% to £662.1m, primarily due to falling side-by-side sales. Q1 wholesale shipments dropped by 7% and retail volumes of both side-by-sides and quadbikes were reduced by “high-single-digit” percentages.

However, revenue from the much smaller Polaris motorcycle division actually rose by 7.4% to £101.8m, thanks to retail sales volume increasing by “low-single-digit” percentages for both Indian motorcycles and Slingshot trikes.

Commenting on these results, Polaris chairman and chief executive Scott Wine said: “We expect the Covid-19 pandemic, and its corresponding shock to the global economy, to be a substantial challenge for our business through the remainder of the year and possibly longer.” 

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