Monday, July 22, 2024


BMW Motorrad’s Berlin factory at Spandau has had no trouble waltzing out the wherewithal to revive its premium bike market domination. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Half-year global retail sales volume for the brand rose remorselessly by 40.3% to 107,610 motorcycles and maxiscooters. Within that, the second quarter was particularly puissant, 55.1% up to 65,018. And the key headline total gain was a 15.5% improvement over some 93,188 bikes sold by BMW in the first six months of 2019, long before coronavirus became a twinkle in some wily Chinese boffin’s eye.

Understandably, the proceeds looked pretty good too. January-June revenue staged a 50.2% recovery to £1.384bn. Operating profit across the period grew by 336.9% to £243m. Operating margin climbed to 17.5% from just 6% last year. Q2’s  profit portion of £127m was apposite, given it replaced a shameful six million quid loss in the equivalent three months of 2020.

Further details were thin on the ground. Apart from a gestural nod towards semiconductor shortages, we were told that procurement of many raw materials such as steel, copper, nickel and aluminium, as well as precious catalyser metals rhodium and palladium, remains subject to volatility. But BMW Group mitigates rising-price risk through long-term supply contracts or derivative hedging transactions, so everything’s cool. 

As for full-year prospects, a “significant increase” in retail bike deliveries worldwide due to the positive market trend has usurped a previously forecast “solid increase”. 

Annual Motorrad operating margin is predicted to lie within a target range of 8-10%, leading to a much higher “return on capital employed” than last year. And we can safely assume such capital is free of interest, because the half-year operating profit featured here was identical to an also quoted pre-tax profit.

Now curt to the point of rudeness in its quarterly motorcycle-segment corporate communications, BMW’s reluctant information stream then stalled completely. All we can add from MCIA and BDN resources is that first-half BMW bike registrations in the UK climbed by 51.3% to 5180. And everybody and his dog knows that R1250GS variants taken together continue to lead the British over-125cc market by a proverbial country mile.

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 3 August


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