Harley: 2012 Q2 Sales Up 2.8% Worldwide

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Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales/Earnings

Harley Davidson released its second quarter financial report Wednesday, reporting increased earnings and an increase in new motorcycle sales worldwide.

The Motor Company says retails sales of new motorcycles grew 2.8 percent worldwide in Q2, compared to the same quarter of 2011. In the US alone, second-quarter sales were up 4 percent.

For the first six months of 2012, worldwide sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were also positive, up 9.3 percent over the same period of 2011. And once again, the US highlighted many of these numbers; in America, sales were up 12 percent over the same period in 2011.

Harley also reports that income from operations was also in the positive for the second quarter at $247.3 million, or up about $1.07 a share.

And although delayed, at the end of the second quarter Harley began implementing its new “ERB” production and planning system at the operations plant in York, Pa. This new system allows the York facility to provide end-to-end supply chain integration and offer more factory customization, according to previous statements.

Keith Wandell (President, CEO and Chairman at Harley-Davidson) says: “We continue to see the results of our focus on the effective implementation of our business strategy.

“Harley-Davidson’s strategy provides the roadmap for success over the long-term through exceptional product development, manufacturing and retail capabilities. We’re working hard every day to unleash the full potential of Harley-Davidson and our iconic brand, and our employees, dealers and suppliers are doing a truly outstanding job.”

Wandell also commented on the launch of ERP at the York facilities: “The launch of ERP at York has gone very well. We are on plan and everyone involved deserves tremendous credit. The implementation of the ERP system at York supports greater manufacturing flexibility, which we believe will allow us to be even more responsive to customers over the coming years.”

Following are the official reports from Harley-Davidson:

Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales

On a worldwide basis, dealers sold 85,714 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the second quarter of 2012, a 2.8 percent increase compared to 83,396 motorcycles sold in the year-ago period. Dealers sold 55,761 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S., a 4.0 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 10.0 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.

Through six months, dealers sold 145,391 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles worldwide, a 9.3 percent increase from the year-ago period, with retail unit sales up 12.0 percent in the U.S., 16.5 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 58.0 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 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.

“We continue to remain cautious in our expectations for retail sales globally in an environment of greater economic uncertainty, including in Europe where sales are clearly being affected by the challenging Eurozone economy,” Wandell said.

Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 7.9 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to last year’s first half.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Results

Second-Quarter Results: 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 25.0 percent compared to 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 4.0 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.

Gross margin was 35.9 percent in the second quarter of 2012, compared to 35.0 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Second-quarter operating margin from motorcycles and related products was 19.7 percent on operating income of $309.6 million, compared to operating margin of 16.4 percent on operating income of $219.8 million in last year’s second quarter.

Six-Month Results: Through the first six months of 2012 the Company 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.

Financial Services Segment Results

Operating income from financial services was $82.0 million in the second quarter of 2012, compared to operating income of $82.1 million in last year’s second quarter. Through six months, operating income from financial services was $149.3 million, compared to operating income of $150.0 million in the first half of 2011. Results for the second quarter and the first six months of 2012 reflect continued improvement in credit performance year over year and reduced cost of funds. Financial services results in last year’s second quarter and first half benefited from the release of significant credit loss reserves.

Guidance

Harley-Davidson continues to expect to ship 245,000 to 250,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, a five-to seven-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. This is consistent with the Company’s 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 continues to expect full-year gross margin of between 34.75 percent and 35.75 percent. The Company also continues to expect capital expenditures of between $190 million and $210 million in 2012.

Restructuring Update

In the second quarter of 2012, the Company incurred restructuring charges of $6.2 million. Upon the anticipated completion of restructuring in 2013, Harley-Davidson now expects restructuring activities initiated since 2009 to result in one-time overall costs of $490 million to $510 million through 2013, a reduction of $10 million from the prior estimate. In 2012, the Company now expects restructuring costs of $40 million to $50 million, compared to the prior estimate of $50 million to $60 million. The Company continues to expect cumulative savings of $275 million to $295 million in 2012 from restructuring activities initiated since 2009, rising to cumulative annual ongoing savings of $315 million to $335 million beginning in 2014.

Income Tax Rate

Through six months, the Company’s effective tax rate was 35.3 percent compared to 34.8 percent in the year-ago period. The Company continues to expect its full-year 2012 effective tax rate from continuing operations will be approximately 35.5 percent.

Cash Flow

Cash and marketable securities totaled $1.21 billion at the end of the second quarter, compared to $1.22 billion at the end of last year’s second quarter. During the first six months of 2012, Harley-Davidson generated $288.2 million of cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations, compared to $473.0 million in the year-ago period. The Company repurchased 3.1 million shares of Harley-Davidson, Inc. common stock during the second quarter of 2012 at a cost of $150.1 million. At the end of the quarter, there were approximately 227 million shares of Harley-Davidson common stock outstanding and 17.2 million shares remaining on board-approved share repurchase authorizations.