Ducati Deliveries Climb 19% Thru September

Ducati shipped 36,979 bikes to distributors during the first nine months of the calendar year, up 19.1 percent from 31,036 units distributed during the same nine-month period in 2007. And, despite a worldwide slump in consumer interest in large displacement motorcycles, Ducati global registrations – an unofficial measure of unit sales – grew 8.3 percent to 37,572 units.

Ducati sales revenue for the first nine months of the year came to €403.2 million (approx. $515.4 million), up 25 percent from revenue of €322.6 million during the first nine months of 2007. Net income was €32.3 million (approx. $41.3 million) compared to €17.6 million the previous year.

The OEM’s gross margin for the first nine months amounted to €106.5 million ($136.1 million), or 26.4 percent of revenues, versus €86.6 million, or 26.8 percent of revenues, in 2007. Executives say the increase of the gross margin is mainly due to the growth of volumes and the improvement of the product mix thanks to the introduction of bikes with higher margins, despite the negative impact of Forex and higher depreciation.

Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio says the results are better than the targets set forth in the company’s two-year plan through 2010.

“We are very satisfied with the results of the first nine months, which confirm the positive trend that we have seen since the beginning of the year, and which show a marked improvement on the same period last year,” he said. “The main factors that have contributed to the positive trend are the increased sell-in, a richer product mix than outlined in the plan, and a better absorption of fixed costs.”

Ducati shipped 38,365 motorcycles in 2007, up 18.7 percent from 32,312 units in 2006. Sales revenue last year totaled €397.7 million. For 2008, Ducati expects to end the year with revenue up 18 to 20 percent compared to 2007.

Despite the positive forecast, Del Torchio remains wary.

“The general downturn in almost all countries served, which is predicted to continue to the end of the year, and the normal seasonal nature of sales, suggest a very prudent outlook should be maintained both with regards to the 2008 full year results and the predicted trend in 2009,” he said.