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STIMULATING START FOR POLARIS

US off-road vehicle and motorcycle manufacturer Polaris Industries enjoyed an “unprecedented level” of retail sales in its domestic North American market during the first quarter of 2021. President Biden’s economic stimulus cash hand-outs to consumers undoubtedly played a large role. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total three-monthly revenue surged by 38.8% to £1.406bn. Operating profit staged a stratospheric recovery, 234.9% up to £132.7m, with operating margin climbing to 9.4% from 0.4% in Q1 2020. Net profit bounced back to £96.6m, versus a net loss of £3.9m in the same period last year.

The company’s core ORV sector, covering quadbikes, side-by-side ATVs and snowmobiles, boasted 49.6% turnover increase to £887.5m. Retail volume of wheeled vehicles rose by about about 80%.

Motorcycles, encompassing the Indian bike and Slingshot trike brands, delivered 30.8% revenue growth to £119.3m. Indian retail numbers rose by just over 60% on home turf, racing ahead of an approximate 35% improvement for overall US sales of medium and heavyweight machines.

However, supply-chain issues meant domestic dealer inventory plunged during the quarter, and is likely to remain tight for much of this year. 

According to Polaris, quarterly international sales across all of its various divisions had grown by 59% to £207.3m. But specific sector performance details were absent.

Commenting on these figures, Polaris interim chief executive Mike Speetzen said: “The strength of our brands and the agility and dedication of the global Polaris team were on full display yet again, building on our momentum from 2020 and delivering results that exceeded our expectations. Despite pandemic-related supply-chain constraints, logistical challenges, and North American weather-related disruptions, sales across our business grew, as we leveraged our capabilities and scale as the industry leader in powersports to deliver for our customers and dealers.”

[$-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 28 April 2021]

 

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