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TEAM GREEN TWISTS THE THROTTLE

Shrugging off a 5.1% revenue decline, uninterrupted operating losses and weak forecasts at the halfway stage of its current fiscal year, Kawasaki’s motorcycle and engine division has bounced back remarkably. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Across the nine months to 31 December 2020, divisional turnover is still on the back foot, 2% down to £1.57bn. But that interim accrued loss has turned into an operating profit of £13.1m, versus a three-quarterly loss of £31.4m in the previous fiscal year.

Kawasaki blamed the revenue shortfall on significantly reduced motorcycle sales in emerging markets and the impact of a strong yen, despite improving off-road vehiclesales in the USA. It attributed the operating income position principally to cost-cutting. 

But a more lucrative motorcycle model mix in developed countries clearly played its part too. Although wholesale bike shipments to the developed world — mainly the US and Europe — fell by 9.9% to 91,000, associated revenue was 1.1% up to £511.9m. Wholesale motorcycle volume into emerging markets plunged by 40.1% to 151,000. Revenue from the sector was 23.9% lower at £311.1m.

Off-road vehicles including ATVs, plus personal watercraft, were the key recovery driver. Shipments rose by 13.7% to 58,000, with revenue also climbing by 13.7% to £502.4m. Turnover from general-purpose petrol engines flatlined at £240m.

For the full 12 months to 31 March 2021, the division’s accumulated annual revenue forecast has now been raised by 3.1% to £2.289bn, 2.3% down against an actual figure of £2.344bn in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. Having previously predicted a £35m annual operating loss, deteriorating from an actual loss of £13.2m a year earlier, Kawasaki now says it should achieve an operating profit of around £35m.

[Yen-sterling currency translations at forex rates applicable on 4 Feb 2021]   

 

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