Kawasaki’s N. America sales drop 28%

Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ division that includes powersports reported a double-digit percentage decline in sales for its recent quarter.
Kawasaki reported a 36.5 percent decline in its consumer products and machinery division, which includes powersports. Total sales for that division in the company’s fiscal first quarter, which ended June 30, was $633 million.
Kawasaki’s sales in North America for all of its divisions totaled $431 million, a 28 percent decline from the year-ago period. Sales results for its powersports unit sales in North America were not available.
Overall Kawasaki reported a net loss of $17.9 million for its fiscal first quarter.

Piaggio Group:?Sales in U.S. fall off significantly
The Piaggio Group experienced new unit sales declines in its first half in Italy, Europe and the United States, with the latter showing a 40 percent-plus drop.
The company’s first-half earnings report showed a 44 percent decline in two-wheel sales. Sales were off in Italy by nearly 7 percent and by 17 percent in Europe.
The Piaggio Group’s overall sales of $1.1 billion was a 11.6 percent decline from a year ago. It reported overall vehicle sales of 314,200 units, with 227,000 being in its two-wheel segments.
Part of the sales decrease was attributable to a decline in a recent BMW order and currency exchange values, with the latter amounting to $5.3 million.
During its first half, Piaggio Group officials outlined the company’s 2009-2012 plan for the Americas. That plan will include boosting cost competitiveness and enhancing the offer in all segments of the scooter market. In motorcycles, Piaggio will concentrate on developing mid-range sport models.

Tech education trainer reports higher student count
Universal Technical Institute Inc. (UTI), a provider of technical education training, is reporting a higher student count in its recent earnings report.
The company reported a net income of close to $2 million in comparison to a loss of $700,000 for the previous-year period.
“I am pleased with the student metrics and financial results for the quarter,” Kimberly McWaters, CEO of UTI, said in a press release. “The growth in starts of more than 30 percent and average student population of 10 percent resulted in a meaningful increase in revenues and improvement in margins for the third quarter.”
Total student starts of nearly 2,950 amounted to a 32.4 percent increase over the year-ago period. For the company’s first nine months, student starts are up almost 18 percent.
Looking ahead, the company said it anticipates continued year over year growth in the key leading indicators and the percentage growth in student starts to be in the low teens.

Assurant Solutions’ net operating income drops
Assurant Solutions reported a decline in its second quarter net operating income, which dropped 14 percent from a year ago.
The warranty provider and division of Assurant also has seen a drop for its six-month operating income as well. Assurant Solutions’ first-half net operating income was $58.2 million, down 27 percent from a year ago.
For both the quarter and six months, the decline was primarily the result of unfavorable credit insurance loss experience in the United Kingdom, the company reported.
Overall, Assurant saw a slight increase,
2 percent, for its second-quarter net income to $99.3 million. “We are taking decisive actions throughout Assurant to improve performance, reduce expenses, enhance revenues and best position the company for the long term,” Robert Pollock, Assurant’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

Easton-Bell’s powersports segment sales relatively flat
Easton-Bell’s sales from its division that includes powersports stayed relatively flat to a year ago, according to the company’s second-quarter report.
The helmet manufacturer has two segments, including an “Action Sports” segment that includes powersports helmets. In its second quarter, which ended July 4, the Action Sports segment had sales of $85.6 million, a decrease of just 2 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company said it had increases in snow helmets and apparel revenue although sales fell for its powersports helmets.
Overall, the company’s sales fell 15 percent to $187.3 million for the quarter. However, its net income decreased 75 percent to $3.8 million.

Sparta commercial secures investment commitment
Sparta Commercial Services Inc. has secured up to a $5 million investment commitment from an unaffiliated investment fund, according to a press release.
Sparta also entered into agreements to convert its short term notes to equity. Sparta believes these moves will meet the requirements for initial drawdown on a previously announced committed revolving credit facility.
This secured facility with Autobahn Funding Co. and DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank New York Branch will allow the company to grow its powersports
leasing loan activities.

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