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SUZUKI SLUMPS TO LOSS

In first-quarter results spanning April to June, Suzuki’s motorcycle business reaped the whirlwind of coronavirus rampaging through major markets in Europe and Asia. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

The opening three months of a new fiscal year saw global revenue from bikes slashed almost in half, 46.8% down to £252.1m. That inflicted an operating loss of £21.7m, against a £16.6m profit in the same period of 2019. Worldwide motorcycle sales volume for the brand sank by 39.8% to 274,000.

Asian sales took the hardest knock, diving by 46.2% to 199,000, with a 74% revenue decline to just £61.4m. India, Suzuki’s biggest market in Asia, suffered a 69% fall in volume to 54,000 and turnover slaughtered by 84.7% to a mere £17.3m. However, the overall tally benefited from China’s early pandemic recovery. Chinese sales actually rose by 8% year-on-year to 94,000.

In higher-value developed markets, European volume sank by 33.3% to 10,000, with associated revenue 39.5% down to £52m. The brand’s domestic performance in Japan was 7.1% lower on 13,000, as revenue fell by 12.3% to £36.1m. A solitary ray of sunshine in all this gloom came from North America, where sales climbed by 58.3% to 19,000 and revenue was 18.1% up to £61.4m — identical to the whole of Asia!   

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