Yamaha Posts Q1 Net Loss

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Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. says a significant decline in demand amid the worldwide recession sent net sales for its first quarter, ended March 31, down 35.5 percent from the previous first quarter, to ¥266.5 billion ($2.75 billion). The sales downturn coupled with the negative impact of a stronger yen resulted in a net loss of ¥15.8 billion ($162.8 million), a decrease of ¥38.0 billion.

The OEM's motorcycle sales revenue fell 29.4 percent from the previous first quarter, to ¥187.9 billion ($1.93 billion). Motorcycle sales revenue dropped 13.5 percent in North America, 26.1 percent in Asia (excluding Japan) and 39 percent in Europe.

Motorcycle unit sales dropped 7 percent to 40,000 units in North America, 6.7 percent 1.03 million units in Asia (excluding Japan) and 24 percent to 76,000 units in Europe.

Marine product sales revenue declined 42.0 percent, to ¥36.9 billion ($380.2 million), due mainly to reduced outboard motor sales in North America and Europe coupled with the negative impact of the stronger yen; power product sales revenue dropped 52.7 percent, to ¥23.5 billion ($242.2 million), attributable to decreased sales of all-terrain vehicles in the United States coupled with the negative impact of the stronger yen; and sales in the "other products" segment fell 45.7 percent, to ¥18.1 billion ($186.5 million), due mainly to sluggish sales of automobile engines and surface mounters.

On the foreign exchange front, the average purchasing value of the yen against the U.S. dollar during the first three months of the year appreciated by eleven yen to ¥94. A strengthening yen against the dollar means Japanese manufacturers would have to raise prices or continue to lose profit on unit sales in the U.S.

Yamaha forecasts ¥1.250 trillion in net sales and a ¥42 billion net loss for the year ending Dec. 31. The OEM's net sales for its year ended Dec. 31, 2008, fell 8.7 percent to ¥1.604 trillion ($16.99 billion).

—Submitted by Guido Ebert