Jun. 14, 2010 – Finance Digest

Lehman Trikes’ Sales up 36 Percent

Lehman Trikes reported substantially improved revenue in traditionally one of its lowest-producing quarters.
The Spearfish, S.D.-based trike manufacturer reported $8.6 million in sales for its most recent quarter, an increase of 36 percent over the year-ago quarter. The company does not report the number of units it sells.
The more than $2 million increase in sales from a year ago largely reflects Lehman’s current contract with Harley-Davidson to provide trike conversion kits. However, that contract is set to end in the third quarter of this year and Harley-Davidson has stated it will start manufacturing its own trikes.
Lehman characterized its sales of trikes and trike kits as “soft” during the quarter. “The manufacturer of host motorcycles have cut or limited production of their 2010 model year product line. This resulted in a limitation of supplies to convert into trikes,” the Lehman financial report stated.
Meanwhile, the company is taking steps to become less dependent on suppliers. Lehman’s board of directors approved a plan in March to purchase $700,000 of plant and equipment in Spearfish, S.D. The company said this will allow it to manufacture more of its metal parts and become less reliant on out-sourcing fiberglass bodies.
For the quarter, Lehman reported a net profit of $321,000, an improvement over the year-ago quarter that ended in a loss.

KTM Reports Decreased Unit Sales, but Increased Profit

Despite reduced new unit sales, the KTM group finished in the black for its first half, the company recently reported.
KTM sold 30,532 units in its first half, a decline of nearly 5 percent compared to a year ago. However this year, KTM finished its first half with a profit of more than $1 million, whereas the company last year reported a loss of $54 million.
“We consistently continued with the restructuring measures and thus reduced overheads and net financial debt,” Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM Power Sports AG, said in a press release. “KTM is on the right track into the second half of 2009-10.”
KTM said its dealer inventories are improved over a year ago. Dealer inventories totaled 29,193 units, a nearly 13 percent decrease compared to the year-ago period.
The company said its 125cc street models, developed in cooperation with Indian manufacturer Bajaj, will be produced and launched at the end of this year. With that additional revenue, KTM expects its sales to increase.

Piaggio Group’s Sales Improve in Europe, Decrease in U.S.

While the Piaggio Group’s North American sales remain below 2009 levels, the company reported an overall increase in unit sales and net profit in its recent quarter.
The European company’s two-wheel sales increased 12.4 percent over the year-ago period, with big gains in its Asian market while its U.S. market was down. Piaggio’s worldwide two-wheel sales amounted to 87,580 units.
In its “Americas” segment, Piaggio sold 1,100 wholesale units in comparison to 6,400 a year ago. The company noted in its earning report that its sales in Canada were temporarily stopped in the quarter following a change in distribution.
In Europe, Piaggio saw a 3 percent gain in unit sales to 71,400 primarily because of improvements in its market share in Italy.
Overall, the company reported a net profit of $3.5 million after finishing the year-ago quarter with a loss of $5.7 million.
In other Piaggio news, the company said the Moody’s Investor Service rating agency has changed its outlook for the company to stable from negative on a corporate rating. Moody’s said its decision reflected the improvement in Piaggio operating margins.
“The improvement,” said the rating agency, “reflects the company’s success in reducing costs, thanks largely to greater efficiencies in its procurement function and increasing returns from recent investments that were aimed at stepping up the company’s production capacity and presence across Asian countries.”

ARI Reports Improved Revenue, Net Income Over Year Ago

ARI Network Services Inc., a provider of online and technology services, has increased its revenue from both recent acquisitions and organic growth, the company recently said.
The Milwaukee-based company posted revenue of $5.4 million its in recent quarter, a 35 percent improvement over a year ago. The company’s net income also increased, to $176,000.
Roy Olivier, ARI’s CEO, noted in a company press release the organic growth comes “from new sales of our current services, including our most recent offerings SearchEngineSmart and PartStream, as well as continued high levels of renewals for marketing services and catalog subscriptions.”
Brian Dearing, chairman of ARI, said in the company’s earnings conference call that he expects to see continued improvement in revenue this fiscal year, driven partially by the 2009 acquisition of Channel Blade Technologies, a CRM provider.
Olivier said ARI is committed to do the following throughout the fiscal year: follow through on its organic growth initiatives, including expanding its services to its existing customer base and “developing new functionality for our customers;” refine organization and processes to drive innovation and efficiency; continue to integrate recent acquisitions into ARI’s core; and explore new markets and acquisitions.

Bridgestone’s Sales Increase Over Year-Ago Quarter

Bridgestone Corp.’s sales in North America in its recent quarter increased over the year-ago period.
The tire manufacturer reported an 11 percent increase in its “Americas” revenue. Bridgestone also reported a double-digit percentage sales increase (16 percent) in Europe as well.
Overall, the company’s sales in the quarter rose 16 percent to $7.1 billion.
The company finished with a net income of $191 million after ending the year-ago quarter in a loss.

New DealerLogic Software Has Real-Time Inventory Feed

BreezeGo, a Jacksonville-based technology, marketing and outsourcing company, released its new DealerLogic 2010 Software with real-time inventory feeds.
The inventory feed allows other systems to tie directly into dealership software systems and extract the inventory information in real-time. One implementation of the real-time data feed would be to connect dealers’ Web sites directly to their inventory in their management system.
Most systems allow for batch processing of data, usually performed at night causing the information to become dated. The real-time inventory feed uses the latest Web service technology via HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), which is the preferred method for systems to communicate directly with one another in real-time.
To learn more about BreezeGo and the 2010 DealerLogic dealership management software, visit www.BreezeGo.com. psb

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