Piaggio Group reports significant 19% improvement in profits

2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado

In 2019, the Piaggio Group reported a significant improvement in performance from the previous year, with progress on all the main earnings indicators, an increase in net profit, higher capital expenditure and a reduction in debt.

 

Consolidated net sales 1,521.3 million euro, up 9.5% (1,389.5 €/mln in 2018)

Industrial gross margin 458.8 million euro, up 8.3%
(423.6 €/mln in 2018), 30.2% return on net sales

Ebitda 227.8 million euro, up 12.9% (220.2 €/mln ex IFRS 16)
(201.8 €/mln in 2018). Ebitda margin 15% (14.5% in 2018)
The highest Ebitda margin result since 2006 (IPO date)

Ebit 104.5 million euro, up 12.7%
(103.9€/mln ex IFRS 16)
(92.8 €/mln in 2018). Ebit margin 6.9% (6.7% in 2018)

Profit before tax 80.7 million euro, up 18.9%
(67.8 €/mln in 2018)

Net profit 46.7 million euro, up 29.6% (36.1 €/mln in 2018)

Adjusted net financial position2 -389.7 €/mln, an improvement of 39.5 €/mln
from -429.2 €/mln at 31 December 2018

611,300 vehicles shipped worldwide, an increase of 1.3% (603,600 in 2018)

Capital expenditure 140.9 million euro, up 22.2% (115.3 €/mln in 2018)

Proposed final per-share dividend 5.5 eurocents
(total per-share dividend for the year, including the interim payout, 11 eurocents)

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Authorization for the purchase and sale of own shares

 

 

Pontedera, 26 February 2020 – At a meeting today chaired by Roberto Colaninno, the Board of Directors of Piaggio & C. S.p.A. (PIA.MI) examined and approved the 2019 draft financial statements.

Piaggio Group business and financial performance at 31 December 20193

Group consolidated net sales totalled 1,521.3 million euroan improvement of 9.5% from 1,389.5 million euro in the year ended 31 December 2018 (+7.7% at constant exchange rates).

The industrial gross margin was 458.8 million euroup by 8.3% (+7% at constant exchange rates) from 423.6 million euro in 2018. The return on net sales was 30.2% (30.5% in 2018).

Group operating expense in 2019 was 354.3 million euro (330.8 million euro).

The changes in the income statement described above generated consolidated Ebitda of 227.8 million euro, up by 12.9% (+11.6% at constant exchange rates) from 201.8 million euro in 2018.

The Ebitda margin was 15%, the highest result since 2006 (IPO date) (14.5% at 31 December 2018).

Excluding the effects of IFRS 16, Ebitda would have been 220.2 million euro.

Ebit amounted to 104.5 million euro, an improvement of 12.7% from 92.8 million euro in 2018. The Ebit margin was 6.9% (6.7% at 31 December 2018). Excluding the effects of IFRS 16, Ebit would have been 103.9 million euro.

Profit before tax in 2019 was 80.7 million euro, an increase of 18.9% from 67.8 million euro in 2018. Income tax for the period was 33.9 million euro, with an impact on pre-tax profit of 42.1%.

Piaggio Group net profit for 2019 was 46.7 million euro, an increasof 29.6% from 36.1 million euro in 2018.

Net debt at 31 December 2019 was 429.7 million euro, in line with the position at 31 December 2018 (429.2 million euro), despite the effect of 20.4 million euro arising from the application of IFRS 16, and the effect of 19.6 million euro arising from the change to the dividend policy introduced in July 2019.

Excluding these effects, adjusted net debt was 389.7 million euro, an improvement of 39.5 million euro from 31 December 2018.

Group shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2019 was 383.8 million euro (392 million euro at 31 December 2018).

Piaggio Group capital expenditure amounted to 140.9 million euro in 2019, an increase of 22.2% from 115.3 million euro in 2018.

Business performance in the year ended 31 December 2019

 

In the year ended 31 December 2019, the Piaggio Group sold 611,300 vehicles worldwide, an increase of 1.3% (603,600 shipments in 2018), and reported consolidated net sales of 1,521.3 million euro.

During the year, the Group reported strong growth in net sales, especially in Asia Pacific on two-wheelers (+23.2%), followed by the EMEA and Americas area (+8.8%) and India (+4.8%).

Two-wheelers:

In 2019, the Group sold 399,600 two-wheelers worldwide, an increase of 1.6% (393,100 in 2018), generating net sales of 1,055.1 million euro (+10.1% from 957.9 million euro in 2018).

The figure includes spares and accessories, on which turnover totalled 132.1 million euro, an increase of 5.5%.

In 2019 the Piaggio Group reported excellent performance in two-wheelers in the Asia Pacific area (+14.5% sales volumes, +23.2% net sales) and positive performance in the EMEA and Americas area (+2.4% sales volumes, +8.3% net sales), whereas there was a slight slowdown on the Indian market.

In Europe, the Piaggio Group confirmed its leadership of the scooter segment with a share of 24.1%; on the North American scooter market, it maintained a strong position with a share of 23.7%, and remained committed to consolidating its presence in motorcycles with the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi brands.

Progress was reported in the scooter segment, with net sales rising 8.1%, largely as a result of the strong performance of the Piaggio Mp3 three-wheeler, the Piaggio Liberty high-wheel scooter, the Vespa brand and the Aprilia scooters.

The Group motorcycle business closed 2019 with a rise of 24.6% in net sales, largely thanks to the Moto Guzzi brand, where turnover was given an important boost by the new Moto Guzzi V85TT. Results also improved for the Aprilia brand, driven by sales of the SX 125, RSV4 1000 and Shiver models.

 

Commercial vehicles:

In commercial vehicles, the Piaggio Group reported sales volumes of 211,700 vehicles, in line with the previous year (210,500 at 31 December 2018), for net sales of 466.2 million euro, up 8% from 431.6 million euro in 2018. The figure includes spares and accessories, where sales totalled 51.4 million euro, up 7.8%.

At geographical level, the strongest growth was reported in the EMEA and Americas area (+17.4% volumes; +13% turnover). In India, the Piaggio Group sold 192,500 commercial vehicles, for a turnover increase of 6.7% despite a slight contraction in sales volumes (-0.8%).  The PVPL subsidiary had an overall share of 23.9% of the Indian three-wheeler market and confirmed its leadership in the Cargo segment with a share of 41.8%.

 

 

Piaggio Fast Forward:

Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), the Piaggio Group robotics and future mobility company based in Boston, launched Gita, its first innovative project, on the market in November. Gita is 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 kg/hour and with a 4-hour battery life.

Gita robots are produced in the new Piaggio Fast Forward facility in the Charlestown district of Boston; the first phase of marketing is focused on the US market, where the circulation of robots on city streets is already regulated.

 

 

Significant events in and after 2019

Supplementing the information published above or at the time of approval of the 2019 third-quarter results (directors’ meeting of 30 October 2019), this section illustrates key events in and after 2019.

On 05 November 2019, the Piaggio Group presented a number of new products at the EICMA tradeshow in Milan. Key products in the motorcycle segment were the Aprilia RS 660 mid-range sports roadster, the Aprilia Tuono 660 concept and the Moto Guzzi V85TT Travel, an accessorised version of Moto Guzzi’s classic enduro. In scooters, the Group presented the new Piaggio Medley (on which the latest development in the Piaggio I-Get engine family makes its debut, in 125 cc and 150 cc versions), the Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon (a special edition from one of the most creative and influential contemporary designers), the Vespa Racing Sixties special series and the Vespa Elettrica 70km/h scooter with motorcycle type-approval, which flanks the original 45km/h model.

On 18 December 2019, the new Ape E-City, the full-electric version of the Piaggio three-wheeler, which marks the Group’s entry on to the Indian electric commercial vehicle market, was presented in New Delhi. The Ape E-City features battery-swap technology, enabling a depleted battery to be replaced in minutes with a charged battery at automated service stations.

On 24 January 2020, the Group announced the start-up of the production in India of three-wheel vehicles compliant with the new Bharat Stage VI emissions norms, making Piaggio the first three-wheeler maker in the country to have upgraded its entire range to the new standards.

At the international Auto Expo 2020 tradeshow in Delhi, on 10 February 2020 the new Aprilia SXR 160 scooter for the Indian market, was presented. The new model broadens the offer and numeric potential of the range of high-end products, previously represented in India by Vespa and Aprilia SR 150.

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Piaggio & C. S.p.A.

 

In 2019, the parent reported net sales of 863.8 million euro and net profit of 46.2 million euro.

The Board of Directors will ask the shareholders to approve a final gross dividend of 5.5 eurocents per entitled ordinary share (additional to the interim dividend of 5.5 eurocents paid on 25 September 2019, ex-dividend date 23 September 2019), for a total dividend for 2019 of 11 eurocents, equivalent to a total amount of 39,299,405.86 euro. The ex-dividend date (coupon no.14) is 20 April 2020, the record date is 21 April 2020 and the payment date is 22 April 2020.

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Outlook

Despite a probable impact on the world economy from the Covid-19 virus (also known as Coronavirus), at least in the first part of the year, the Group is managing the effects on its supply chain without any particular impacts on its production facilities (located in Italy, India and Vietnam), and will continue to take action to strengthen its positioning on the global markets.

Furthermore, considering the product portfolio and its diversified international production and commercial presence, which will enable it to mitigate any negative effects, 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.

More generally, the Group maintains the commitment that has always characterised its operations to grow productivity once again in 2020, with close attention to cost and investment efficiency, and will carefully monitor the situation in order to take any necessary action to guarantee the satisfaction of all Group stakeholders.

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 12 April 2019, which is due to expire on 12 October 2020. 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 898,818 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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