Harley-Davidson sales up low single digits for Q2

Publish Date: 
Aug 1, 2012

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Global sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were up 2.8 percent for the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, while domestic sales were up 4 percent.

Worldwide, dealers sold 85,714 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the second quarter of 2012, up from 83,396 motorcycles sold in the year-ago period. Dealers sold 55,761 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S., a 4 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2011.

In international markets, dealers sold 29,953 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the second quarter, a 0.5 percent increase compared to sales of 29,797 units in the year-ago period. Retail unit sales increased 10 percent and 37.9 percent in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions respectively, and decreased 6.4 percent in the EMEA region during the quarter, compared to last year's second quarter, according to the report.

In the first six months of the fiscal year, dealers sold 145,391 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles worldwide, a 9.3 percent increase from the year-ago period, with retail unit sales up 12 percent in the U.S., 16.5 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 58 percent in the Latin America region and down 4.5 percent in the EMEA region.

"We're pleased with the overall performance at retail during the first half, including continued growth in the second quarter," said chairman and CEO Keith Wandell. "As expected, retail sales moderated in the second quarter due to an unusually warm early spring in the U.S. that pulled some sales forward into the first quarter.”

The rest of the year may be more challenging, he said, because of global economic uncertainty that is putting a drag on sales in Europe.

Second-quarter operating income from motorcycles and related products grew 40.8 percent to $309.6 million on higher shipment volume and operating margin improvement, compared to the year-ago period.

Revenue from motorcycles during the second quarter of 2012 of $1.22 billion was up 21.6 percent compared to the year-ago period. The company shipped 83,502 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, up 25 percent from shipments of 66,815 motorcycles in the second quarter of 2011.

Revenue from motorcycle parts and accessories totaled $265.6 million during the quarter, up 4 percent, and revenue from general merchandise, which includes MotorClothes apparel and accessories, was $75.1 million, up 3.1 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Over the first six months of 2012, the company said it shipped 147,765 motorcycles to dealers and distributors, a 22.5 percent increase compared to the year-ago period. Revenue from motorcycles grew 20.6 percent to $2.22 billion through six months. First-half revenue from parts and accessories grew 10.7 percent to $464.6 million and revenue from general merchandise grew 10.5 percent to $149.7 million. Gross margin through six months was 35.9 percent and operating margin was 18.2 percent, compared to 34.1 percent and 14.4 percent respectively in last year's first half.

The company said it expects to ship 245,000 to 250,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, a 5- to 7-percent increase from 2011. In the third quarter of 2012, the company expects to ship 51,000 to 56,000 motorcycles, a decrease of 9.3 percent to 17.4 percent from the year-ago period. The company previously announced plans for lower shipments in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 related to the implementation of ERP and surge production at York.

The company said it continues to expect full-year gross margin of between 34.75 percent and 35.75 percent, and it continues to expect capital expenditures of between $190 million and $210 million in 2012.

Posted by Holly Wagner