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SUZUKI BACK IN RED INK

Although cars have kept Suzuki Motor Corporation as a whole shiny side up, its motorcycle operations have been consigned to the loss-making doldrums again. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Nine-monthly results to 31 December 2020 reveal revenue from motorcycles fell by 20.2% to £1.006bn. That inflicted an operating loss of £9.7m, against break-even at the same point in Suzuki’s previous fiscal year. 

Production volume in the period declined by 21.3% to 1.042 million bikes. Global sales volume was 16.9% down at 1.117 million.

Emerging markets in Asia bore the brunt, collectively losing 21.1% at 877,000 machines sold. Associated revenue sank by 30.1% to £469.8m. Within that, India took the most punishment, 29.8% down to 377,000 in volume terms, while revenue dropped by 30.6% to £229m. Chinese sales actually posted an impressive 16.1% growth to 288,000.

In the developed world, Suzuki’s Japanese domestic market turned in the strongest performance, adding 4.2% in volume to 39,000. But related revenue made a 3.9% retreat to £102.4m. European sales were 4.7% lower on 31,000, with revenue falling by 9.2% to £157.8m. North America was hammered, as sales plunged by 35.1% to 37,000 and revenue was 13.2% down to £122.5m.

In full-year forecasts to 31 March 2021, Suzuki estimates its annual motorcycle sales volume worldwide will be 13.5% smaller at 1.478 million. Total production is expected to have fallen by 21.6% to 1.356 million.    

[Yen-sterling currency translations at forex rates applicable on 5 Feb 2021]   

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