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SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCE FROM PIAGGIO

Piaggio Group’s first-quarter 2021 results were the most profitable ever, based on surging turnover and bike sales volume. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports. 

Consolidated group revenue climbed by 23.5% to £333.1m, its highest first-quarter achievement since 2007. Operating profit stacked on 135.1% to £20.3m, with operating margin increasing to 6.1% from 3.2% in the same period last year. Net profit went ballistic, adding 258.1% to £9.6m, an all-time record for the first quarter.

Net debt year-on-year fell by 18.2% to £388.1m. This was attributed to careful management of working capital and operating cash flows generated by the Group’s positive business performance, which also enabled it to absorb a higher capital expenditure requirement.

During these three months, Piaggio’s global powered two-wheeler sales volume rose by 35% to 103,200 machines. Related turnover, including spares and accessories, was 42.2% up at 257m.

Piaggio says PTW sales in India and America were particularly significant, rising by more than 90%. The Asia-Pacific region put on 47.2%. And on the European market, notably in Italy, numbers increased by almost 70%. 

In Europe, market share for both scooters and motorcycles was also boosted. And share of the North American scooter market reached 32.9%, up from a previous 23.7%. Specific to scooters, global sales rose by almost 37%, led by the Vespa brand, three-wheeled machines, the Liberty high-wheel scooter and revised Piaggio Beverly. 

As for motorcycles, Moto Guzzi reported an outstanding quarter, with its best-ever sales volume and sales revenue, notably thanks to the V7 and V85TT models. Aprilia was also extremely positive, with net sales the highest since 2007 — almost double the figure in Q1 2020 and up by almost 50% from Q1 2019. Its RSV4 supersports model saw an increase of 40%, and the new 660cc RS and Tuono models attracted strong market interest. 

Commenting on this scale of recovery, Piaggio chairman and chief executive Roberto Colaninno said: “The group closed the first quarter of 2021 with very positive results at global level. Nevertheless, we have to consider that the Covid pandemic is still a risk, so we continue to monitor each individual market closely. Clearly, the Indian continent is suffering. But the market will recover and be better than before.”

[€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 4 May 2021]

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