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Ducati Posts 1Q Pretax Loss

Ducati Motor Holding SpA reported a pretax loss of Euro 1 million ($1.3 million) for its first quarter ended March 31, 2005. This compares to a profit of Euro 800,000 ($1 million) a year ago.
Ducati revenues for the first quarter were Euro 85.1 million ($107.9 million), down 15.1% year-on-year, and the company posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of Euro 8.5 million ($10.8 million), a 31.4% drop.
Unit registrations, an indicator of retail sales, fell 16% in the first quarter. Ducati said sales grew 8% in the United States but were down 23% in Italy and Germany, fell 31% in Japan, and dropped 36% in Britain and Benelux countries.
Sales of accessories, spare parts and Ducati-related clothing fell 16.8%.
Ducati's net debt on March 31 was Euro 122.3 million ($155 million), up from Euro 121.2 million ($153.6 million) on March 31, 2004.
In other Ducati news, Ducati North America, Cupertino, Calif., has recalled select 2005 MTS1000, MTS620, S2R, and S4R models.
Ducati says approximately 100 units are being recalled because an incorrect rear shock absorber rocker arm was installed during production. This incorrect component results in limited travel of suspension and could potentially cause the vehicle to crash.
“We're taking a proactive approach,” Vince Chiaro of Ducati North America told Powersports Business. “We made sure the necessary parts are in our warehouse in Ohio, we got in touch with dealers, and we're sending out direct mailings to the owners of the units in question.”
In a final piece of Ducati news, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer revealed plans to open a retail location in the Central American country of Colombia.
The store, to be opened in the country's capital Bogota by May 22, 2005, will precede stores planned for Medellin and Cali.
Ducati's operations in Latin America are represented by Grupo Autosportivo Italiano of Panama. An Autosportivo Italiano spokesman said best-selling models such as the Multistrada 1000 DS, Monster 620 Dark, and 999 Biposto will be the first bikes to be offered.
Earlier this month, Ducati said it plans to open a first store in China.

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