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YAMAHA: PEAK PERFORMANCE

Yamaha’s motorcycle business has prospered mightily since the pandemic and, according to impressive full-year 2023 results, overcome virtually all obstacles — apart from those of its own making. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

12-monthly revenue boasted a 9% rise to £7.453bn. Asia was the biggest contributor, 7.4% up to £4.452bn. Developed markets together put on 9.7% to £1.875bn. Within major players, Europe led the way, adding 14.4% to £1.15bn. North American turnover grew by 22.1% to £400.1m. Japan fell by 19.3% to £236.2m. Latin America and other regions combined were responsible for a 14.6% increase to £1.126bn.

Associated overall operating profit climbed by 44.3% to £646.8m. Operating margin improved from 6.6% to 8.7%. Yamaha repeated a previous revelation made earlier in its fiscal year, that passing on prices (i.e. inflation) to end-users had led to higher net sales and profits. Well fancy that! A lesson learned.

Global motorcycle unit sales volume was just 1.1% up to 4.827 million. Asia was 1.5% higher at 3.883 million, thanks to strong demand in Indonesia and India. However, Asian volume was constrained by economic downturns in Vietnam, China and Thailand, although premium-spec bikes mitigated financial impact in some emerging markets. European volume grew by 5% to 209,000. North America was 11.7% up to 76,000, while Japanese domestic sales declined by 20% to 76,000. Volume in other unspecified regions was flat, retreating by 0.5% to 583,000.

In its 2024 forecasts, Yamaha promises much of the same. Annual revenue is expected to grow by 6.5% to £7.939bn. Asia should advance by 4.1% to £4.636bn. Developed markets will hopefully creep upwards by 2.5% to £1.921bn. Latin America and those pesky other regions are scheduled to roar ahead by 22.7% to £1.381bn. Worldwide unit sales volume is anticipated to put on 2.9% to 4.966 million. But then there’s a sting in the tail. Full-year operating profit is set to fall by 5.9% to £608.7m, on the back of substantially greater sales promotion costs. Here’s betting bean counters at Yamaha Motor’s Iwata HQ make that menace disappear before next December.

Yen-Sterling currency translation a forex rates applicable on 14 February

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