March 8, 2010: Financial Digest

Yamaha outlines 2009 losses
The Yamaha Motor Group has outlined plans to get out of the red this year after the company finished its fiscal year with losses of more than $2 billion.
The manufacturer had its overall 2009 sales drop by 28 percent to $12.7 billion and finished with a net loss of more than $2.3 billion. Yamaha attributed the net loss mainly to the expenses incurred by early retirement of employees in Japan, Europe and the United States and the impairment loss on fixed assets. Yamaha earlier this year outlined a plan to close several factories.
For its North America powersports sales, Yamaha saw decreases in each of its key categories. The company’s motorcycle unit sales fell 45 percent compared to the previous year to 92,000 units.
The company’s overall North American sales fell even more, at 52 percent, as its power products category, which includes ATVs and side-by-sides, declined 63 percent in sales.
Yamaha’s marine division sales also fell, dropping 44 percent compared to a year ago.
Overall, Yamaha’s motorcycle sales decreased slightly as the company reported increased unit sales in its largest market, Asia. However, like North America, Yamaha’s European market declined, with sales there dropping 25 percent to 275,000 units.

Kawasaki’s N. American sales fall 39 percent
Kawasaki’s North American sales in North America have dropped 39 percent for its first three quarters compared to a year ago, the company said in its latest earnings report.
That total revenue for North America of $1.1 billion includes all of the company’s products, including powersports sales.
The company, as a whole, has seen a 16 percent drop in sales, with total worldwide sales of $8.6 billion. During this first three quarters, the company suffered a net loss of $112 million after reporting earnings a year ago.
The segment of the company that includes powersports new unit sales, consumer products and machinery, is reporting a decline of sales of 39 percent from a year ago. Besides shipbuilding, Kawasaki is reporting revenue declines in each of its other segments as well.
Like its North American operations, Kawasaki’s sales in Europe also have decreased compared to a year ago. Sales in Europe have thus far totaled $514 million, a decline of 34 percent from a year ago.

Suzuki posts earnings after its third quarter
Suzuki Motor Corp. has seen a significant drop in its motorcycle segment sales in North America and Europe but the company did post earnings in its most recent quarter.
Suzuki said it finished its third quarter with a net income of $171 million.
The company’s motorcycle segment sales, which include motorcycles and quads, totaled 43,000 units in North America for its first three quarters, a drop of 51 percent from the prior-year period.
Sales in Europe for its motorcycle segment totaled 65,000 units, a decline of 43 percent.
Worldwide, Suzuki’s sales dropped nearly 24 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Company reports record first-quarter revenues
Universal Technical Institute, a provider of technician training, reported a 15 percent increase in revenue for its first quarter, according to the organization.
Net revenues for the first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, were $103.5 million, which was up from $90.1 million for the first quarter of the prior year. Net income for the first quarter was $9.3 million as compared to net income of $2.3 million for the first quarter of the prior year.
“We are pleased with our first-quarter results as we achieved record average student enrollment of 18,782 students as well as record revenues and earnings per share for an individual quarter,” Kimberly McWaters, president and CEO, stated in a press release. “Additionally, we achieved the highest net income for an individual quarter since fiscal 2006. Capacity utilization increased 900 basis points, helping us further leverage our fixed costs, and driving our operating margins up to 14.5 percent.”

MB Financial Bank Joins platform for bike loans
Wolters Kluwer Financial Services announced MB Financial Bank has joined its platform to automate and help simplify loan processing for motorcycle dealers.
MB’s Indirect Finance Program provides retail loan financing and commercial banking services to motorcycle dealers across the United States. The platform, called AppOne, automates the indirect lending process for lenders and dealerships by providing credit application workflow automation, compliance document preparation and information service solutions.
Using AppOne, MB can connect with dealers, accelerate the loan application process and transact loans faster. AppOne’s DocOne document printing engine and validation tool allows dealers to print loan documents from a standard color laser printer onto plain paper at the point of sale and finance at the dealership location. DocOne also helps ensure that loan documentation is accurate and compliant before reaching the lender for funding consideration.
“MB Financial Bank recognizes that our national motorcycle dealer base desires alternative processing options that add quality and value to their business,” said Charles Schaefer, first vice president, Indirect Lending, at MB. “We believe our partnership with AppOne provides dealers that additional value and option while still granting access to our tailored,
high-touch customer service.”

KTM?returns to profit in its most recent quarter
KTM Group posted a profit in its first quarter, a change from a year ago.
The Austrian manufacturer reported net income of $4.8 million in its first quarter after suffering a loss of more than $37 million a year ago.
KTM’s sales, however, have fell nearly 17 percent compared to a year ago. The company’s worldwide sales totaled $148 million, the company said in a press release.
In total, 17,056 motorcycles were sold by KTM in the first quarter, a reduction of 15 percent compared to the previous year.
KTM said it has achieved a 36.5 percent reduction in factory inventories and a 21.3 percent decrease in dealer inventories from the previous year.
“The restructuring measures, which had to be implemented in the previous year, have already shown sustainable effects,” KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer said in the press release. “For example, total costs could be reduced by more than 30 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous year. We are, thus, able to make profits again, even if the sales volume is lower.”

Advanstar sells off-road Web site, off-road.com
VerticalScope Inc. has acquired Off-Road.com, an off-road enthusiast Web site, from Advanstar Communications Inc.
VerticalScope, which owns and operates a large network of automotive and powersports Web sites, plans to continue providing off-roaders with the same content, event coverage, forums and social media sections that off-roaders have come to expect for the past 15 years.
“Off-Road.com is a great fit with our portfolio of premier auto and powersports Web sites, which include brands such as Motorcycle.com, ATV.com and AutoGuide.com,” said Rob Laidlaw, CEO of VerticalScope.
Off-Road.com was launched in 1995. Since then, the site has covered a range of off-road activities with interactive forums and an archive of more than 100,000 pages of searchable content.
“This is a great situation for Off-Road.com and its visitors, and I am excited to help take the site to the next level with VerticalScope,” said Josh Burns, Off-Road.com editor.
Advanstar’s CEO Joe Loggia said, “We are pleased to have found such a well-qualified strategic buyer for Off-Road.com.”

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