3/14/2011-A return to profit for Yamaha

Company reports improved wholesale ATV, marine numbers in North America
Yamaha Motor Co. returned to profitability in its latest fiscal year, even as its North American sales dipped.
The company’s fiscal year-end report showed North American sales down more than 6 percent compared to the year-ago period. Sales of motorcycles at the wholesale level decreased significantly. Its marine and ATV sales, however, did rise slightly at wholesale.
Overall, the company finished with a net income of $223 million after finishing its previous fiscal year with a loss. Helping the company to return to profitability was improved net sales — an overall rise of more than 12 percent — and a decrease in depreciation and personnel expenses through cost cutting and company reform, according to Yamaha’s press release.
The company’s overall sales were negatively impacted by currency exchange rates, but it did see a significant increase in the sale of motorcycles in emerging countries plus a recovery in outboard motor sales.
In North America, Yamaha’s total motorcycle units that were wholesaled in its fiscal year decreased to 53,000 units. That’s a 42 percent decline from the previous year.
The company’s wholesales of ATVs rose in its fiscal year after implementing inventory adjustments in the previous year.
The company’s power products division, which includes ATVs, UTVs and snowmobile sales, rose nearly 2.5 percent compared to the previous year.
Its marine products division, which includes PWC and outboard motors, reported a 22 percent increase in its sales compared to a year ago. Yamaha attributed that increase to its strategic introduction of newly developed, environmentally friendly outboard motors, inventory adjustments made the previous year in the United States and strong retail sales that rose from the previous year.
For motorcycles alone, Yamaha saw a sizeable wholesale jump due to its increasing business in emerging countries. Wholesale numbers, however, decreased in Europe to 227,000 units (a 17 percent decrease) and in Japan to 99,000 units (an 8 percent decline).
Wholesales in emerging markets, including Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, were up nearly 23 percent to 6.5 million units, the company reported.
The big increase in emerging countries allowed Yamaha to see an overall nearly 11 percent sales increase over the year-ago period.
Looking forward, Yamaha expects a continued challenging business environment due to exchange rates and increasing raw material prices. In this environment, the company said it will continue its ongoing structural reforms but does expect its overall sales to increase next year by more than 4 percent. PSB

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