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Financial

05/11/2019

Suzuki Motor Corporation’s motorcycle business suffered a depressing first half of its 2019/2020 fiscal year from April to September. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Despite 2.1% global sales volume growth to 876,000 bikes and ATVs in this six-month period, revenue was almost static, rising by just 0.2% to £901m. And operating profit plummeted by 56.8% to a mere £12.4m.

Poor performance in developed export markets, potentially eliciting stronger returns, was largely responsible. European volume was 7.1% down to 26,000, with associated revenue decreasing by 3.4% to £140.3m. North American sales were dead flat on 21,000 machines but revenue slipped by 5.4% to £100.4m.

Asian emerging markets were somewhat better. Total volume across Asia put on 3.6% to 718,000 bikes and overall revenue increased by 0.3% to £462m. India was the principal contributor, bucking an economic downturn afflicting indigenous competitors there. Suzuki’s Indian volume rose by 14.9% to 339,000 and resultant revenue was 13.3% up to £224.4m. The Philippines boasted a substantial improvement too, as volume grew by 16.1% to 101,000. However, China fell by 16.8% to 163,000.

In a full-year forecast to the end of March 2020, Suzuki has predicted that its worldwide bike sales will rise by 1.5% to 1.771 million. Europe should be 1.2% up to 45,000 and North America 2.3% higher at 37,000. Asia is expected to add 2.2% on 1.468 million.