Financial News

  • 23 April 2014, 10:33

Harley-Davidson Revs Up Quarterly Revenue

Harley-Davidson has seen its first-quarter earnings rise 18.7% amid a surge in motorcycle ownership and greater factory efficiency.

The Milwaukee-based company said global sales of new motorcycles grew 5.8% in the first three months of the year as buyers snapped up its new models.

The iconic American motorcycle manufacturer's†profit result beat Wall Street estimates, with shares rising more than 7% in premarket trading.

Harley-Davidson posted net income of $265.9m (£160m), up from $224.1m (£133m) a year ago.

The company, which has developed a huge industry in bolt-on accessories and merchandise, saw strong growth in both areas.

Motorcycle and related product revenues were up 11% to $1.57bn (£932m).

The company's overall revenue, which includes financial services, was up $160m, to $1.73bn (£1.02bn).

Bike sales grew 3% in the US to 35,730 during the quarter despite a long, cold winter, but international sales, especially in Asia, helped the results.

Harley said Asia-Pacific motorcycle sales were up more than 20% to 7,178 for the quarter.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa sales were up 8% to 9,940, while they rose 9% in Latin America to 2,558.

But industry watchers are now seeing how the latest model announcement will fare in future results, with the release of its first all-new model in more than 13 years.

The Street is small and priced below most traditional Harleys and is being offered in 500cc and 750cc versions for young urban riders.

It is being built in the US, and in India for the non-North American market, and has a non-traditional 60-degree water-cooled V-twin engine.

Grumbles from mainstream buyers have been heard, who believe it undermines the brand's heritage and therefore potential resale values.

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