Piaggio Group Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno: “The Piaggio Group closed 2020 with substantially stable results, on both the European and the Asian markets. Overall, the figures reflect the efficacy of the Group’s response to the impact of the pandemic on the world economy. With respect to the first six months, the second half of the year was very positive: net sales rose by 1.3%, EBITDA by 10.1%, EBIT by 56.6%, and net profit grew by 82.3%. Worldwide sales of our scooters and motorbikes increased by 24.5%. At the same time, the high level of cash generated in part through careful working capital management permitted a significant reduction in debt of over 125 million euro in the last 9 months of 2020.”
- Consolidated net sales 1,313.7 million euro (-13.6%, 1,521.3 €/mln at 31.12.2019). 2020 second-half growth of 1.3% compared with the second half of 2019
- Industrial gross margin 372.4 million euro (458.8 €/mln at 31.12.2019),
28.3% return on net sales (30.2% at 31.12.2019)
- EBITDA 186.1 million euro (227.8 €/mln at 31.12.2019)
EBITDA margin 14.2% (15% at 31.12.2019)
- EBIT 70.9 million euro (104.5 €/mln at 31.12.2019)
EBIT margin 5.4% (6.9% at 31.12.2019)
- Pre-tax profit 50.2 million euro (80.7 €/mln at 31.12.2019)
- Net profit 31.3 million euro (46.7 €/mln at 31.12.2019)
- Net financial position 423.6 €/mln, an improvement of 125 €/mln from 548.6 €/mln at 31.03.2020 due to the positive sales performance in the second half of 2020 and careful management of working capital. The NFP showed an improvement of 6.1 €/mln from 429.7 €/mln at 31.12.2019.
- 482,700 vehicles sold worldwide (611,300 at 31.12.2019)
- Capital expenditure approximately 140.4 million euro (140.9 €/mln at 31.12.2019)
- MSCI ESG confirms AA Rating for fifth consecutive year
- Proposed final per-share dividend 2.6 eurocents (total dividend for the year, including the interim pay-out, 6.3 eurocents per share)
* * *
- Authorisation for the purchase and disposal of own shares
Pontedera, 02 March 2021 – At a meeting today chaired by Roberto Colaninno, the Board of Directors of Piaggio & C. S.p.A. (PIA.MI) examined and approved the 2020 draft financial statements.
Piaggio Group business and financial performance at 31 December 2020
The Group’s consolidated net sales were 1,313.7 million euro, down 13.6% (-12.2% at constant exchange rates) from 1,521.3 million euro in 2019 as a result of the lockdown, which led to the closure of production and sales activities for several weeks in many countries. Compared with the second half of 2019, consolidated net sales rose by 1.3% in the second half of 2020.
The industrial gross margin was 372.4 million euro, -18.8% (-18% at constant exchange rates) compared to 458.8 million euro at 31 December 2019.
The return on net sales was 28.3% (30.2% at 31 December 2019).
The Group’s operating expense at 31 December 2020 totalled 301.5 million euro, a sharp reduction (14.9%) from 354.3 million euro in 2019, arising largely as a result of the mitigating action put in place from the end of the first quarter of 2020 to respond to the Covid-19 emergency.
The changes in the income statement described above generated consolidated EBITDA of 186.1 million euro, down by 18.3% (188 million euro, -17.5% at constant exchange rates) from 227.8 million euro in 2019. The EBITDA margin was 14.2% (15% at 31 December 2019).
EBIT amounted to 70.9 million euro, a reduction of 32.2% from 104.5 million euro at 31 December 2019. The EBIT margin was 5.4% (6.9% at 31 December 2019).
Profit before tax for the year was 50.2 million euro, a reduction of 37.8% from 80.7 million euro in 2019. Income tax was 18.8 million euro, with an impact on pre-tax profit of 37.6%.
The Piaggio Group reported a net profit for 2020 of 31.3 million euro (46.7 million euro at 31 December 2019).
Net financial debt (NFP) at 31 December 2020 was 423.6 million euro, an improvement of 125 million euro from 548.6 million euro at 31 March 2020 at the beginning of the first lockdown, reflecting the positive sales trend in the second half of the year and careful management of working capital. Net financial debt decreased by 6.1 million euro over the figure recorded on 31 December 2019 (429.7 million euro).
A comparison of the NFP at 31 March 2020 with the position at 31 December 2020 shows that from the end of the first lockdown (early May 2020) the Piaggio Group generated cash totalling 125 million euro, while keeping capital expenditure stable at 140.4 million euro compared with the prior-year figure (140.9 million euro at 31 December 2019).
Group shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2020 was 372 million euro (383.8 million euro at 31 December 2019).
Business performance in the year to 31 December 2020
In the year to 31 December 2020, the Piaggio Group sold 482,700 vehicles worldwide (611,300 in 2019) and reported consolidated net sales of 1,313.7 million euro. Despite the Covid-19 health emergency, the Asia Pacific 2W market registered 9.4% growth in sales volumes, while the Emea – Americas and India markets saw a drop in sales of 1.7% and 49.6%, respectively.
As of 31 December 2020, the Group had sold 384,700 two-wheelers worldwide (-3.7% from 399,600 in 2019), generating net sales of 1,040.9 million euro (-1.3% from 1,055.1 million euro at 31 December 2019, -0.4% at constant exchange rates).
The figure includes spares and accessories, on which turnover totalled 119.4 million euro.
The overall decrease arose primarily in India (-33% sales volumes; -18.7% turnover at constant exchange rates); there was a small rise in sales volumes on the Emea and Americas market (+0.6%) with a slight reduction in turnover (-3.1% at constant exchange rates), while performance was very healthy in the Asia Pacific area (+9.4% sales volumes; +13.9% at constant exchange rates).
In Europe in 2020, the Piaggio Group once again strengthened its leadership of the European two-wheeler market, reaching an overall share of 14.2%. The result was generated by a significant increase in motorcycle sales, and excellent performance in the scooter segment, where the Group share was 24.0%.
In North America the Group strengthened its positioning as leader on the scooter market, raising its share from 23.7% in 2019 to 28.2% in 2020. It is also taking action to consolidate its presence on the motorbike market with the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi brands.
In the scooter segment, sales of the Piaggio Medley grew by almost 40%, with positive contributions from all the main geographical areas. The Vespa brand also reported a positive overall performance, with sales volumes up by more than 20% in Germany, the Netherlands, the Americas and a number of Asian countries, notably China, where sales more than doubled.
Performance in the motorcycle segment was driven by the Moto Guzzi V85TT enduro, the Moto Guzzi V7 – whose volumes rose by 26% in the second half of the year –, the Aprilia RSV4 supersports model, the new Aprilia RS 660, while the Aprilia SX range continued to grow, with the 50 and 125 cc models.
In commercial vehicles, the Piaggio Group sold 98,000 vehicles in 2020 (-53.7% from 211,700 at 31 December 2019), for net sales of 272.8 million euro (-41.5% from 466.2 million euro at 31 December 2019, -38.7% at constant exchange rates). The figure includes spares and accessories, for which turnover totalled 38.4 million euro.
At geographical level, sales volumes were down 27.9% in the Emea and Americas market, and more than 50% in India. On the Indian three-wheeler market, the Indian subsidiary PVPL sold 72,500 vehicles (164,500 in 2019), for an overall share of the Indian three-wheeler market of 27.9%, up 4 percentage points from 2019. It also confirmed its leadership in the cargo segment, with a 46.8% market share, up from 41.8% at 31 December 2019.
Piaggio Fast Forward:
Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), the Piaggio Group robotics and future mobility company based in Boston, continued the marketing of its first innovative project, gita, a unique follow-me robot carrier with a payload of 20 kg, designed to follow the user indoors and outdoors, at a top speed of 10 km/hour and with a 4-hour battery life.
Gita is produced in the Piaggio Fast Forward factory in the Charlestown district of Boston. The first marketing phase focuses on the US market, where the circulation of robots on city streets is already regulated.
In December, PFF kicked off a series of pilot programs, together with partners active in various business sectors, to test further applications for gita in the travel, residential and retail sectors and in local food delivery.
The Piaggio Group consolidated its position among the international players in its sector leading the way in sustainability, after receiving an AA rating for the fifth consecutive year from Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Research, one of the top ESG rating agencies that assess the environmental, social and governance performance of the world’s largest corporations.
The MSCI rating together with the “A-” rating (Climate change) assigned by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) represent the mid-term path taken by the Group around the world to make a concrete contribution to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Significant events in and after 2020
Supplementing the information published above or at the time of approval of the 2020 third-quarter results (directors’ meeting of 30 October 2020), this section illustrates key events in and after 2020.
On 26 January 2021, at an online international première, the Piaggio Group presented its new range of four-wheel lightweight commercial vehicles: the new Porter NP6, the first city truck, combines compact dimensions with an extraordinary payload and exclusively eco-friendly engines. Compact dimensions and the new CombiFuel petrol\LPG and petrol\methane 1,498 cc Euro 6D Final engines make the Piaggio Porter NP6 the ideal urban work vehicle for last-mile deliveries and short- and medium-range goods transport.
From 14 to 20 February, the new Aprilia Tuono 660 and Moto Guzzi V7 were presented to the international media at a location just outside Rome, the starting point for a full test ride.
The two motorcycles, both eagerly awaited, address two very different audiences. The Aprilia Tuono is for a younger target, offering the typical sporty features of the Tuono family (already available in an 1100cc version). The new Moto Guzzi V7, an important evolution of one of the brand’s classic best-sellers, is intended for riders looking for style combined with technological innovation.
On 1 March, the Piaggio Group said it had signed a letter of intent with KTM AG, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. to form a consortium that will develop interchangeable batteries (using battery swap technology) for motorcycles and lightweight electric vehicles.
* * *
Piaggio & C. S.p.A.
In 2020, the parent reported net sales of 832.8 million euro and net profit of 36.7 million euro.
The Board of Directors will ask the AGM to approve payment of a final dividend of 2.6 eurocents, gross of taxes, to each entitled ordinary share (in addition to the interim dividend of 3.7 eurocents paid on 25.11.2020, ex-dividend date 23.11.2020), for a total dividend for 2020 of 6.3 eurocents, amounting overall to 22,498,864.04 euro. The ex-dividend date (coupon no. 16) is 19.04.2021, the record date is 20.04.2021 and the payment date is 21.04.2021.
* * *
2020 closed with better than expected results on both the European and the Asian markets, which as a whole confirm the efficacy of the Group’s response to the pandemic that has affected the world economy.
Although the complexity of providing guidance remains, since the effects of the Covid 19 epidemic will continue in 2021, in the year that Moto Guzzi celebrates its centenary and Vespa its 75th anniversary Piaggio will move forward with the launch of 11 new two-wheelers and a new lightweight commercial vehicle, the construction of the new e-mobility department in Pontedera, the start-up of a new factory in Indonesia and the complete restructuring of the Moto Guzzi production facility and museum area.
In this general context, Piaggio will continue to work to meet its commitments and targets, maintaining all the necessary measures to ensure a flexible and immediate response to any difficult and unexpected situations that might arise, thanks to careful and efficient business and financial management.
* * *
Authorisation for the purchase and disposal 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 22 April 2020, which is due to expire on 22 October 2021. 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 1,028,818 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.
* * *
Conference call with analysts
The presentation of the financial results as at 31 December 2020, which will be illustrated during a conference call with financial analysts, is available on the corporate website at www.piaggiogroup.com/it/investor.
1 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, intangible assets, and rights of use, 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 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.