In 2018, the Piaggio Group reported an improvement in performance from the previous year, progress on all the main earnings indicators, a strong increase in Ebit and net profit, higher capital expenditure and a reduction in debt.
Mantua, 25 February 2019 – At a meeting today chaired by Roberto Colaninno, the Board of Directors of Piaggio & C. S.p.A. (PIA.MI) examined and approved the 2018 draft financial statements.
Piaggio Group business and financial performance at 31 December 2018
Group consolidated net sales totalled 1,389.5 million euro, an improvement of 4.3% from 1,332.4 million euro in 2017. At constant exchange rates, net sales rose by 8.2% from the previous year.
The industrial gross margin was 423.6 million euro, up by 4.5% from 405.4 million euro in 2017. The return on net sales was 30.5% (30.4% in 2017).
Operating expense sustained by the Group for the year ended 31 December 2018 amounted to 330.8 million euro, down 0.7% from the previous year (333.1 million euro).
The changes in the income statement described above generated consolidated Ebitda of 201.8 million euro, up by 4.9% (+7.4% at constant exchange rates) from 192.3 million euro in 2017. The Ebitda margin was 14.5% (14.4% in 2017), the best annual result reported since the IPO (2006).
Ebit in 2018 amounted to 92.8 million euro, a strong improvement of 28.3% from 72.3 million euro in 2017. The EBIT margin was 6.7% (5.4% in 2017).
Profit before tax at 31 December 2018 was 67.8 million euro, an increase of 69.4% (40.1 million euro in 2017). Income tax for the period was 31.8 million euro, with an impact on pre-tax profit of 46.8%.
Piaggio Group net profit for 2018 was 36.1 million euro, an increase of 80.6% from 20 million euro in 2017.
Net financial debt at 31 December 2018 stood at 429.2 million euro, an improvement of 17.5 million euro from 446.7 million euro at 31 December 2017.
Group shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2018 was 392 million euro (385.1 million euro at 31 December 2017).
In 2018, Piaggio Group capital expenditure amounted to 115.3 million euro, an increase of 28.6 million euro, up 33% from 86.7 million euro in 2017.
Business performance in the year ended 31 December 2018
During 2018, the Piaggio Group sold 603,600 vehicles worldwide, an increase of 9.2% (552,800 shipments in the previous year), and reported consolidated net sales of 1,389.5 million euro.
At geographical level, sales volumes increased in India (+23.5%) and in Asia Pacific (+9.7%), while sales volumes in the EMEA and Americas regions (-4.3%) largely reflected the impact of lower market demand for 50cc vehicles.
In the year to 31 December 2018, the Group sold 393,100 two-wheelers worldwide, an improvement of 4.6% (376,000 in 2017), generating net sales of 957.9 million euro (942.1 million euro in 2017).
The figure includes spares and accessories, on which turnover totalled 125.2 million euro, an increase of 3.3% from 121.2 million euro in 2017.
In 2018, the Piaggio Group reported a strong rise of 30.3% in sales volumes on the Indian two-wheeler market, driven by the excellent results of Vespa and Aprilia SR, and an increase of 9.7% in two-wheeler sales volumes in Asia Pacific.
In Europe the Piaggio Group confirmed its leadership of the scooter segment, with a share of 25.3%. The Group also maintained a strong positioning on the North American scooter market, with a share of 23.9%.
In the scooter segment, excellent results were achieved by the Vespa brand, which reported 16% growth in worldwide shipments and the highest level of sales since 2007; all the geographical areas contributed to this result, with a significant improvement in India, Asia Pacific and Europe, fuelled by the successful launch of the special series. Also in the scooter segment, sales volumes rose for the MP3 three-wheeler, reflecting in particular the positive response to the new engine displacements, and for the Aprilia SR scooter on the Indian market.
In motorcycles, Group volumes increased largely thanks to the Aprilia brand, which reported an improvement of 24.8% assisted by the new Shiver 900 and Dorso Duro 900 and by the SX 50.
In commercial vehicles, the Piaggio Group reported strong progress, with 210,500 vehicles sold, up 19.1% (176,800 in 2017), and net sales of 431.6 million euro, up +10.6% from 390.4 million euro in 2017. The figure also includes spares and accessories, where sales totalled 47.7 million euro, up 5.6% (45.1 million euro in 2017).
Sales of three-wheel commercial vehicles in India continued to show steady growth, rising 15.9% to 167,362 shipments. The PVPL subsidiary had an overall three-wheeler market share of 23.3% and confirmed its leadership in the Cargo segment with a share of 44.9%.
The PVPL production facility exported more than 51,500 vehicles in 2018.
Piaggio Fast Forward:
Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), the Piaggio Group company headquartered in Boston and active in robotics and mobility for the future, is continuing development work on its first innovative project, Gita, which will be assembled and produced at the new facility in Charlestown. Gita is a smart vehicle able to move autonomously in today’s increasingly complex urban environments. It can accompany the user, map their surroundings, exchange data and monitor other moving objects.
Significant events in and after 2018
Supplementing the information published above and at the time of approval of the 2018 third-quarter results (directors’ meeting of 23 October 2018), this section illustrates key events in and after 2018.
On 6 November 2018, the Piaggio Group presented a number of new products at the EICMA tradeshow in Milan. These included the Vespa Elettrica (European marketing of which began as the tradeshow opened); the Moto Guzzi V85 TT all-terrain bike which began marketing in February this year, and has been booked for more than 8,000 test rides across Europe; the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory super sportsbike; the Aprilia RS 660 Concept. The Piaggio MP3 300 hpe and Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport Advanced, with reverse gear, were also presented. Restylings and new technical content were introduced for the models in the Vespa GTS range.
On 7 January Massimo Rivola was appointed CEO of Aprilia Racing. Rivola’s appointment is another important step in the strengthening of the Noale racing division, after the engagement of top rider Andrea Iannone to join teammate Aleix Espargaró, whose place was confirmed, the arrival of Bradley Smith as a tester and of two new highly experienced head engineers, Antonio Jimenez and Fabrizio Cecchini.
On 15 January (see press release dated 16 January), Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) upgraded its Piaggio Group rating from “B1” to “Ba3” and assigned a “STABLE” outlook.
Consolidated net sales 1,389.5 million euro, up 4.3% (+8.2% at constant exchange rates)
(1,332.4 €/mln in 2017)
Industrial gross margin 423.6 million euro, up 4.5%
(405.4 €/mln in 2017), 30.5% return on net sales (30.4% in 2017)
Ebitda 201.8 million euro, up 4.9% (+7.4% at constant exchange rates)
(192.3 €/mln in 2017) Ebitda margin 14.5% (14.4% in 2017)
Ebit 92.8 million euro, up 28.3%
(72.3 €/mln in 2017) Ebit margin 6.7% (5.4% in 2017)
Profit before tax 67.8 million euro, up 69.4%
(40.1 €/mln in 2017)
Net profit 36.1 million euro, up 80.6% (20 €/mln in 2017)
Net financial position -429.2 million euro,
an improvement of 17.5 €/mln from -446.7 €/mln at 31 December 2017
603,600 vehicles shipped worldwide, up by 9.2% (552,800 in 2017)
Capital expenditure 115.3 million euro, up 33% (86.7 €/mln in 2017)
Proposed dividend of 0.09 euro per share (equivalent to 32,155,184.34 euro)
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Authorisation for the purchase and sale of own shares
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Piaggio & C. S.p.A.
In 2018, the parent reported net sales of 799.6 million euro and net profit of 35.6 million euro.
The Board of Directors will ask the shareholders to approve distribution of a gross dividend of 0.09 euro per entitled ordinary share (€ 0.055 for financial year 2017), equivalent to 32,155,184.34 million euro. The ex dividend date (coupon no.12) is 23 April 2019 the record date is 24 April 2019 and the payment date is 25 April 2019.
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In a context in which the Piaggio Group is strengthening its position on the global markets, the Group is committed to:
- confirming its leadership position on the European two-wheeler market, taking full advantage of the expected recovery by further strengthening its scooter and motorcycle range;
- maintaining its current positions on the European commercial vehicles market by strengthening the sales network;
- consolidating its presence in Asia Pacific, by exploring new opportunities in countries in the region, with a particular focus on the premium segment of the market;
- increasing sales on the Indian scooter market thanks to the Vespa and Aprilia offers;
- growing the penetration of commercial vehicles in India, in part through the introduction of new engine displacements.
From the technological viewpoint, the Piaggio Group will continue research on new solutions to current and future mobility problems, through the work of Piaggio Fast Forward (Boston) and new advances in design at the PADc (Piaggio Advanced Design center) in Pasadena.
At a more general level, the Group maintains its commitment – a characteristic of recent years and continuing in 2019 – to generate higher productivity through close attention to cost and investment efficiency, in compliance with its ethical principles.
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Authorisation for the purchase and sale of own shares
At today’s meeting, the Board of Directors agreed to present to the shareholders’ meeting a proposal for the renewal of the authorisation for the purchase and sale of own shares granted by the Annual General Meeting of 16 April 2018, which is due to expire on 16 October 2019. The proposal aims to provide the company with a useful strategic investment opportunity for the purposes allowed under law, including the purposes contemplated in art. 5 of EU Regulation 596/2014 (Market Abuse Regulation, hereinafter “MAR”) and in the practices allowed under art. 13 MAR, and also for purchases of own shares for subsequent cancellation.
Authorisation to purchase own sales will be requested for a period of 18 months, as from the shareholder resolution date; authorisation to sell own shares will be requested for an unlimited period. As of today, the company holds 873,818 own shares.
All information concerning the terms and procedures of the authorisation will be set out in the Illustrative Report on Own Share Purchases, to be made available to shareholders within the terms envisaged by current laws.
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Conference call with analysts
The presentation of the financial results as at and for the year ended 31 December 2018, which will be illustrated during a conference call with financial analysts, is available on the corporate website at www.piaggiogroup.com/it/investor.
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The Piaggio Group consolidated income statement, consolidated statement of financial position and consolidated statement of cash flows as at and for the year ended 31 December 2018 are set out below.
The income statement schedules have been updated as a result of the adoption of IFRS 9, which amended IAS 1 (82 ba), requiring separate recognition in the income statement of impairment losses (including impairment reversals or gains on reductions in value).
The manager in charge of preparing the company accounts and documents, Alessandra Simonotto, certifies, pursuant to paragraph 2 of art. 154 bis of Legislative Decree no. 58/1998 (Consolidated Finance Act), that the accounting disclosures in this statement correspond to the accounting documents, ledgers and entries.
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In line with the recommendations of CESR Communication 05-178b, attention is drawn to the fact that this press release contains a number of indicators that, though not yet contemplated by the IFRS (“Non-GAAP Measures”), are based on financial measures envisaged by the IFRS. These indicators – presented in order to assist assessment of the Group’s business performance – should not be considered as alternatives to those envisaged by the IFRS and are consistent with those in the Piaggio Group 2017 Annual Report and in the quarterly and half-year reports. Furthermore, since determination of such indicators is not specifically regulated by the IFRS, the methods used may not coincide with those adopted by other companies/groups, and consequently the indicators in question may not be comparable. In compliance with Consob Communication no. 9081707 of 16 September 2009, it should be noted that the alternative performance indicators (“Non-GAAP Measures”) have not been audited by the independent auditors.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to future events and Piaggio Group business and financial results. By their nature, these statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, since they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur or exist in the future. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such statements as a result of a variety of factors.
 The main alternative performance indicators used by the Piaggio Group, representing the data monitored by management, are as follows:
- EBITDA: earnings (EBIT) before amortisation and depreciation and impairment losses on property, plant and equipment and intangible assets, as reflected in the consolidated income statement;
- Industrial gross margin: net sales less costs to sell;
- Net financial position: gross financial debt less cash and cash equivalents, and other current financial receivables. Determination of the net financial position does not include other financial assets and liabilities arising from measurement at fair value, derivatives designated or not as hedges, fair value adjustments of the related hedged items and related accruals.