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YAMAHA: ODD BRAND OUT

As the only Japanese bike manufacturer directly facing Western rivals, in a calendar year split paralleling the same seasonal production and sales demands, Yamaha did considerally better than them in its Q1 2024 results. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

According to the company, its motorcycle business benefited from higher quarterly revenues and profits, and an improved operating margin, thanks to increased shipments of “premium-segment” (and therefore increasingly premium-priced) models.

Overall turnover during the period rose by 14.1% to £1.987bn. Operating profit was a muscular 81.9% up to £265.7m. Operating margin reached 13.4%, growing from just 8.4% in Q1 2023. Global sales headcount grew by 3.6% to 1.228 million motorcycles and scooters.

Asia provided the largest slice of revenue, with a 3.9% increase to £1.088bn. Asian unit sales volume actually fell by 7.7% to 949,000, but masked a more lucrative model mix. Revenue from developed markets was 13.3% higher at £522.7m. Latin America and other regions collectively improved by 61.5% to £377m.

Among big developed-world players, Europe led the field with revenue rising by  17.4% to £309.1m and unit sales 5.5% up to 58,000. Volume flatlined in North America on 26,000 but associated revenue put on 19.9% to £141.1m. In Japan’s domestic market, volume was 14.3% down to 18,000 and revenue declined by 10.4% to £50.9m.

Going forward on a positive tone, Yamaha’s results presentation anticipates reduced logistics costs and a lull in exorbitant raw materials pricing. It also expects emerging-market motorcycle sales growth led by India, Brazil and Indonesia. On the flip side, however, corporate outlook includes economic uncertainty due to global monetary tightening and aggressive supply challenges from competitors.

Yen-Sterling currency translation at forex rates applicable on 29 May

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