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KAWASAKI: TEAM GREEN BLOSSOMS

After under-supplying its previously lucrative European motorcycle market last year for various half-baked reasons, Kawasaki’s Powersports & Engine division has now corrected such aberrant behaviour. Results for the first quarter of the company’s new fiscal year to 30 June therefore look quite promising. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Q1 divisional revenue was 14.2% up to £788.9m. Accelerating motorcycle shipments to Europe and more off-road/utility vehicles for the US market took due credit, in addition to depreciation of the yen — despite a lot fewer motorcycles sold in South-East Asia. Operating profit for the period improved by 11% to £78.3m. Higher revenue was the primary contributor, although rising promotional and fixed costs restricted earnings growth to some extent.

Turnover from motorcycles for developed countries grew by 10.4% to £279.6m, with total Q1 unit sales just 2% up to 50,000. Wholesale volume shipped to Europe climbed sharply by 63.6% to 18,000. But US numbers were 17.4% down at 19,000. Kawasaki plans to ship 220,000 bikes into the developed world during its full year to March 2024.

Emerging markets motorcycle revenue spanning Asia and Latin America declined dramatically by 21.2% to £110.3m, as overall unit sales fell by 37.5% to 45,000. In the Philippines, volume was 37% down to 29,000. And Indonesia dived by 63.6% to a mere 4000. China lost 16.7% at 5000. Nevertheless, an optimistic annual sales target is 360,000 bikes.

Q1 off-road/utility vehicle and personal watercraft shipments, mostly to the USA, were 22.2% up to 22,000 units, eliciting a 44.6% related revenue hike to £249.5m. An indeterminate quantity of general-purpose petrol engines generated a 19.7% revenue increase to £149.5m.

A somewhat arbitrary prediction for the division’s full year currently has overall revenue reaching £2.228m, which is 1.7% up on its starting point estimate in April but 0.2% lower than actual revenue in the previous fiscal year. This doesn’t mean much yet, because the Kawasaki Heavy Industries parent is notorious for multiple forecasting amendments as time goes by…

Yen-Sterling currency translation at forex rates applicable on 9 August.

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