Saturday, March 2, 2024


Perhaps the Desert X Rally launch and announcement of a forthcoming foray into motocross filth were pre-EICMA diversionary tactics because Ducati’s nine-monthly results to the end of September revealed a retreat in overall production and sales. However, premium pricing still pushed profits higher. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.


Revenue for the three quarters of 2023 to date grew by a mere 0.5% to £764m, described by parental Volkswagen beancounters as “stable”. But operating profit rose strongly on the back of a more lucrative model mix, 28.1% up to £122m. And operating margin improved from 12.5% to 15.9%. 


Within the VW Progressive Brand Group — encompassing Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Ducati — the latter’s operating profit contribution increased from 2% to 3%. Bentley accounted for 11%, up from 9%. Lamborghini was responsible for 13%, also rising from 9%. Audi’s share fell from 81% to 73%. Combined operating profit from this “luxury” sector reached a tad over £4bn.


Now for the bad news. Total Ducati YTD production volume fell by 18.2% to 45,987 units, which was blamed mainly on optimising inventories. YTD retail sales were 4% down to 47,867. During Q3, dealer deliveries to customers actually dived by 22.7% to 12,743.


Back on a YTD basis for Ducati’s various model segments, Scrambler sub-brand production sank by 21.5% to 6711 bikes. Retail numbers were 10.7% lower at 6347. Naked/Sport Cruiser (Diavel, Monster, Streetfighter) production was reduced by 20.3% to 14,748 and sales fell by 5.3% to 15,592. Dual/Hyper (Hypermotard, Desert X, Multistrada) production was cut by 22.1% to 15,095 but sales increased marginally, 0.5% up to 16,959. Finally, Sport (Supersport, Panigale) had a 3.5% production decline to 9433 and 4.7% sales shrinkage at 8969.


As for Ducati retail sales destinations worldwide, Europe’s slice of the cake expanded to 59% from 54%. The USA took 14%, improving from 13%. China, including Hong Kong, dropped from 8% to 5%. Other markets withered from 24% to 22%.


€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 27 October  


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