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PIAGGIO: DOWNTURN BLUES

Falling sales in Asian markets, plus the spectre of stockpiling to avoid Red Sea component supply-chain issues, have wiped the smile off Piaggio Group’s Q1 corporate face. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Consolidated revenue fell by 21.3% to £368.3m. Operating profit was 7.8% down to £35.5m. However, operating margin improved from 8.2% to 9.7%. Pre-tax earnings were 22.5% lower at £24.3m, and net profit also dropped by 22.5% to £16.1m. Net debt grew from £373.4m to £428.5m, in line with typical early-season working capital requirements.

Quarterly global unit sales during the period declined by 26.7% to 91,400 powered two-wheelers, blamed principally on reduced uptake in Asia. Turnover from PTWs was 24.1% down to £285.4m. That figure included spares and accessories, the revenue from which fell by 9.5% to £30m. Rebalancing of inventory by Piaggio’s worldwide distribution networks, in anticipation of new emissions laws, also had an impact on turnover.

Piaggio claimed a 19.6% share of the scooter segment in Europe during Q1 and further strengthening of its position on the North American scooter market to a 27.3% share — without providing supportive data.  Also, in North America, it says work is continuing to consolidate motorcycle market presence through the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi brands — again, lacking details.

In his outlook commentary, Piaggio Group managing director and chief executive Michele Colaninno said: “The Far East has been showing signs of steadying, and we expect to see a moderate improvement in sales during the year. Healthy signs of recovery are also emerging in the Indian market, and the good performance of these will benefit from political stability after the elections there.”

He also highlighted “important investment plans in Italy for the coming years so that we will be ready for the current energy transition”. This refers to a subsidised upgrade for Piaggio’s Pontedera plant to produce all-electric PTWs. Finally, honing his obfuscation talents, Colaninno added: “Our decision for an intelligent verticalisation of the development and production of strategic assets will be the key for efficient management of new technologies.”

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 9 May 

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