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WEAK SHOW FROM DUCATI

Half-yearly results for Ducati, as revealed in VW subsidiary Audi’s interim report, are a sorry tale of flat sales, falling revenue and sharply reduced profit. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

During the first six months of 2017, the brand’s global retail sales grew by a mere 0.1% to 34,854 units. Within that, Scramblers were 9.7% down to 8674, despite the arrival of new Desert Sled and Café Racer variants to extend the range. The naked/cruiser sector covering Diavel, Monster and Streetfighter models also lost ground, falling 8.1% to 10,752.

On the plus side, dual-sport kit encompassing Hypermotard and Multistrada models was 7.5% up to 9457. Premium supersport and superbike offerings did far better, rising by 27.2% to 5971. The company said its domestic Italian market was particularly good and US sales improved. But Germany was down.

Oddly, VW Group’s own interim statement quoted different overall sales figures – a 5.1% drop to 36,713 bikes. However, those numbers may have represented wholesale supply to dealers.

World-wide Ducati production fell by 12.2% to 37,870 units across the period. Some 32,981 were made in Bologna. Ducati’s Thai factory at Amphur Pluakdaeng assembled 4369 and a further 520 were bolted together at Manaus in Brazil by a contract manufacturer.

Saving the worst until last, total revenue was 5.6% down at £410.5m. Operating profit plunged by 32.1% to £34m. Operating margin declined from 11.9% to 8.2%.

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