Harley-Davidson has reported strong gains in earnings and dealer new motorcycle sales for the first quarter of 2012.
The company is reporting that retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 20.3 percent worldwide in the first quarter this year (compared to 2011), with domestic US growth of 25.5.
On a worldwide basis, dealers sold 59,677 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 49,595 motorcycles in Q.1 2011; 39,762 of them in the US. International dealers sold 19,915 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the first quarter, an increase of 11.2 percent.
Industry-wide domestic U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 17.5 percent compared to last year's first quarter, so in brand terms Harley continues to grow ahead of market trend.
"We continue to be encouraged by the strong trend at retail and in earnings over the past several quarters. Our first quarter performance reflects the outstanding appeal of our products, the ongoing results of our transformation strategy, the efforts of our dealers and employees, and improving macro-economic conditions in the U.S.," said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc.
"While we are obviously pleased by our strong start to the year, we are more focused than ever on the ongoing implementation of our business strategy and tapping the many opportunities we see globally. Through Harley-Davidson's transformation to world-class manufacturing, product development and retail capabilities, we are positioning the Company to serve our customers even better and help ensure the strength of the business long term," Wandell said.
In 2011, for the fourth straight year, Harley-Davidson was the U.S. market share leader among young adults ages 18-34, women, African American and Hispanic riders, as well as among its core rider group, across all displacements of on-road motorcycles, according to recently available data. More than one-third of new Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales in the U.S. in 2011 were to riders new to the brand, and in the EMEA region, more than two-thirds were new to the brand.
"We believe that Harley-Davidson's market leadership among its demographic outreach targets demonstrates the powerful and growing appeal of the brand to new generations and diverse groups of riders," Wandell said. "We also continued to expand the reach of Harley-Davidson to customers around the world. Our employees and dealers are more dedicated than ever to making customers' dreams a reality through remarkable products and extraordinary experiences."
At $995.9m, first quarter revenue from Motorcycles was up 19.5 percent. The Company shipped 64,263 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, compared to 53,827 in the first quarter of 2011. This was higher than the Company's prior shipment guidance of 58,000 to 63,000 motorcycles for the quarter.
Harley-Davidson is increasing its full-year shipment guidance and expects to ship 245,000 to 250,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, compared to prior shipment guidance of 240,000 to 245,000 motorcycles. The new shipment guidance reflects consumer demand and the Company's limited ability to produce additional motorcycles in 2012. In the second quarter of 2012, the Company expects to ship 79,000 to 84,000 motorcycles.
Revenue from Motorcycle Parts and Accessories (P&A) was up 21.1 percent at $199.1 million for the first quarter; General Merchandise (which includes MotorClothes Apparel and Accessories) revenue was $74.6 million, up 19.2.