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PROFITS PLUNGE AT SUZUKI

Suzuki Motor Corporation’s motorcycle division has finally revealed pathetically weak full-year results to the end of March 2020, after an unprecedented two-week delay. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports. 

The Covid-19 pandemic was partly held to blame. But actual numbers didn’t stack up, instead reflecting a similarly grim position at the end of Q3 in December — before coronavirus became a factor. 

Revenue for the full 12-month period was 4.9% down to £1.83bn. Global sales volume fell by 2.1% to 1.708 million motorcycles. However, associated operating profit plummeted by an extraordinary 80.9% to a mere £5.2m. Besides that fatuous claim about deleterious disease impact, the effect of negative foreign exchange owing to yen appreciation also got a mention. 

Sales in Europe were 6.8% down to 41,000 bikes. Related revenue sank by 9.1% to £270m. North American volume suffered a smaller 2.7% decrease to 35,000 but revenue was 11.2% lower at £227m, presumably due to the aforementioned failure to hedge forex successfully. Domestic Japanese sales recorded a 14% drop to 49,000, although revenue rose by 3.6% to £150m.

Asia proved to be a mixed bag. In total, there was a 2.3% sales decline to 1.403 million bikes, with overall revenue falling by 3.7% to £944m. Biggest losers within that were Indonesia and China. In the former, sales sank by 37% to 62,000. And in the latter they were 18.2% down to 302,000. 

India, on the other hand, was an Asian jewel in the crown, boasting impressive growth for Suzuki in an otherwise economically-challenged Indian market. Volume climbed by 8.8% to 692,000 and revenue put on 12.9% to £468m.

Inevitably, predictions about sales, revenue and profit during the next fiscal year have been avoided. Concluding its results statement, Suzuki said: “We are unable to provide appropriately calculated and reasonably forecasted values due to the spread of coronavirus infection.”   

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