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Ducati Posts $12.7 million Loss for Jan.-Sept. 2004

Ducati Motor Holdings SpA posted a loss of Euro 9.8 million ($12.7 million) for January to September 2004 compared to a Euro 7 million ($9.04 million) loss for the same period of 2003.
Revenue was Euro 268 million euro ($346.3 million) for the first nine months of 2004, a decrease of 4.5% year-on-year at constant exchange rates. Revenues from motorcycles for the period decreased 11.1% to Euro 204.2 million and represented 76.2% of revenues. Motorcycle-related products, including spare parts, technical accessories and apparel, increased 9.6% to Euro 58.9 million over the comparable period in the previous year.
Ducati said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was Euro 26.1 million ($33.7 million) for the period compared to Euro 30.9 million ($39.9 million) for the first nine months of 2003.
The company's net debt was Euro 112.4 million ($145.2 million) at the end of September 2004 compared to Euro 112.2 million ($145 million) on September 30, 2003 and Euro 117.2 million ($151.4 million) at the end of 2003.
Unofficial Ducati worldwide registrations for the first nine months of 2004 were down 4.4% versus the same period last year. Sales in non-subsidiary countries were down 1%, Italy down 3%, France down 4%, UK down 13%, Germany down 16%, Japan down 17% and Benelux down 18%. Ducati said registrations in the U.S. were up 20%.
“After reporting a positive first half of 2004, Ducati business reversed over the summer, due to a difficult market situation and the delayed introduction of our high volume new model Monster S2R and high margin new 999,” said Federico Minoli, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. "Market environment and the continuous devaluation of the dollar turned 2004 into a more difficult year than anticipated. The good acceptance of our new products and the production start up in November of the new models will allow us to recover part of the losses before year end and to look with confidence to 2005.”
“Despite our forecast of a better fourth quarter, full year results are now expected to be lower than 2003 with unit sales decline of 5%, flat revenues at costant forex and a post-tax loss in the range of 6 Million Euro,” said Enrico D'Onofrio, Chief Financial Officer of Ducati. “However we expect a recovery in sales in 2005 with a good EBITDA level, a return to profit and a lower net debt, fueled by the new entry level S2R, the Multistrada 620 and the already pre-sold Sport Classic line.”

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