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YAMAHA BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT

Joining the list of major bike manfacturers which are now doing better on most parameters than they were before Covid arrived, Yamaha has delivered adequate half-year (HY) 2021 results. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Yamaha’s Land Mobility division, producing mainly motorcycles plus ORVs of one sort or another and bicycles, boasted turnover of £3.904bn, 38.8% up on HY 2020 and a 5.8% improvement on HY 2019. Revenue solely attributable to motorcycles stood at £3.405bn, 38.4% higher than HY 2020 and beating HY 2019 by 3%.

We are no longer privy to stand-alone Yamaha motorcycle profitability data. But Land Mobility earnings before interest and tax performed roughly the same roller-coaster in these respective periods. HY 2021 operating profit jumped to £294m, against an operating loss of £44m in HY 2020, and was also in significant excess of the shabby HY 2019 figure by 115.4%.

Global bike volume put on a less consistent show. Wholesale shipments in HY 2021 reached 2.312 million machines, recovering by 35.3% from HY 2020. But they were still 8.1% down on HY 2019. Asia was the culprit. Although volume across Asian markets recovered to 1.845 million in HY 2021, that tally was 12.8% behind HY 2019.

Everywhere else was hunky-dory. HY 2021 European performance grew by 17.2% against HY 2020 and 6.4% versus HY 2019 to 116,000 bikes. On the same basis, North America was 21.4% and 6.3% up to 34,000. Japan also added 21.4% and then 10.9% at 51,000. Other regions together stacked on 50.6% and 23.8% to 265,000. Associated revenue in every area except Asia and Japan was comfortably ahead of both 2020 and 2019 levels.

For Yamaha in its entirety, the first half of 2021 concluded with 34.2% rise in revenue to £6.017bn. Operating profit was 471.9% up at £714m. Net profit of £609m contrasted with a net loss of £18m in HY 2020.

Compromised by all the usual caveats about supply-chain disruption, rising raw materials prices and Covid, full-year forecasts were vague but positive, relying heavily on “jam tomorrow” achievement promises.

Yen-sterling translation at forex rates on 5 August 

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