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PIAGGIO: PONTEDERA PASSION

Boasting a seventh consecutive quarter of growth, 2023 half-yearly performance for Italy’s dominant PTW manufacturer added up to record-breaking results. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Highest-ever net sales revenue generated across Piaggio’s field of operations during this six-month period climbed by 11.3% to pass the billion-quid barrier — £1.003bn to be precise. Turnover specifically from scooters and motorcycles, including related spares and accessories, delivered a 9.2% increase to £818m.

Group operating profit surged by 37.1% to £100.6m, with operating margin improving from 8.1% to 10%. Pre-tax profit was 34.7% up to £84m. An all-time record net profit grew by 43.4% to £55.4m. Net debt stood at £328.9m, benefiting from a 3.3% reduction. Capital expenditure totalled £56.3m, down slightly from £57m in the equivalent period last year. Powered two-wheeler global sales volume declined marginally by 1.5% to 267,400 units. But the company said a better model mix enhanced revenue and it was particularly strong in the EMEA region (mainly Europe) and the Americas, rising by 15.1%. The Italian market evidently enjoyed 30% growth and North America was 9.2% ahead. Overall, these more than made up for a minor downturn on Asia markets.

Piaggio claimed to have boosted its scooter segment share in Europe, taking 23.3% of the total market, up from 22.6% in the equivalent six months of 2022. North American scooter share held station at 29.3%. The scooter segment as a whole apparently grabbing a 12.2% improvement in global turnover, with a gain of almost 50% by Beverley, Medley and Liberty high-wheel models and the MP3. Vespa worldwide revenue was more than 10% up. No unit volume numbers were provided to flesh out the details.

Similarly, besides working to consolidating the presence of its Moto Guzzi and Aprilia motorcycle brands in North America, Piaggio said that both were doing splendidly, without any inconvenient support from actual unit sales headcount. Moto Guzzi’s “strong performance” was based on “turnover up by approximately 30%, thanks in part to the new V100 Mandello”.

Meanwhile Aprilia’s unsubstantiated success was allegedly driven by the RSV4, RS660, Tuono 660 and 1100, and Tuareg 600 models, “the latter also achieving important results in rally competitions”. You’d have to be a true believer to take some of this stuff without a pinch of salt.

Anyway, Piaggio Group chairman and chief executive Roberto Colaninno was very pleased with himself. Concluding his commentary on these results, he said: “For the rest of the year, all our factories will be applying the management productivity system that has enabled us to achieve larger profit margins without substantial  price increases.” It’s just a pity we cannot have a clearer picture of what products and how many of them leave those factory gates.

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 1 August

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