Yamaha Q1 Sales Drop 9%

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Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. says net sales totaled ¥412.9 billion ($3.96 billion) during the company's first quarter ended March 31, down 9 percent from the same three-month period of the previous year. Net income for the recently ended first quarter dropped 11.6 percent to ¥22.2 billion ($212.9 million).

Yamaha says business conditions surrounding the company are "dramatically changing" to a degree beyond what it had forecast at the beginning of fiscal 2008. The Japan-based company blames "a rapid economic slowdown in advanced nations" for a drop in sales and "soaring crude oil and raw material prices and exchange rate fluctuations" for the decreased income.

Yamaha worldwide motorcycle sales fell 6.4 percent from the previous first quarter, to ¥266.3 billion ($2.56 billion) — a drop the company attributes to decreased demand in North America coupled with the impact of the higher yen against the U.S. dollar. The average purchasing value of the yen against the U.S. dollar appreciated by six yen from the previous first quarter, to 110 yen.

Power product sales, including ATVs and side-by-side vehicles, declined 14.1 percent to ¥49.7 billion ($476.9 million) a change the company says reflects "slow demand for all-terrain vehicles amid the economic slowdown in North America."

Finally, Marine product sales dropped 12.8 percent, to ¥63.6 billion ($610.3 million). Sales were brisk in Russia, but Yamaha says overall performance in the segment declined due mainly to decreased sales of outboard motors and delayed shipments of new personal watercraft models in North America.