In the first quarter of 2019, the Piaggio Group reported an improvement in performance from the year-earlier period, growth in all the main earnings indicators, a strong increase in Ebit and net profit, higher capital expenditure and a reduction in debt.
Consolidated net sales 346.2 million euro, up 10.8% (+10% at constant exchange rates)
(312.3 €/mln in Q1 2018)
Industrial gross margin 103.9 million euro, up 7.5% (+8% at constant exchange rates)
(96.7 €/mln in Q1 2018), 30% return on net sales (31% at 31.03.2018)
Ebitda 49.5 million euro, up 14.5% (+16.8% at constant exchange rates)
(47.6 €/mln ex IFRS 16) (43.2 €/mln in Q1 2018)
Ebitda margin 14.3% (13.8% in Q1 2018)
Ebit 20.7 million euro, up 42.6%
(20.5 €/mln ex IFRS 16) (14.5 €/mln in Q1 2018)
Ebit margin 6% (4.6 % in Q1 2018)
Profit before tax 14.2 million euro, up 104.9%
(14,3 €/mln ex IFRS 16) (7 €/mln in Q1 2018)
Net profit 7.8 million euro, up 97.7% (7.9 €/mln, ex IFRS 16)
(4 €/mln in Q1 2018)
Net financial position ex IFRS 16, -456.1 €/mln, an improvement of 46.8 €/mln from
-502.9 €/mln at 31 March 2018. NFP 31 March 2019, including IFRS 16,
-476.4 €/mln, an improvement of 26.5 €/mln
140,400 vehicles shipped worldwide, up 8.2% (129,700 in Q1 2018)
Capital expenditure 29.3 million euro, up 31.4% (22.3 €/mln at 31.03.2018)
Milan, 07 May 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 interim report on operations as at and for the three months to 31 March 2019.
Piaggio Group business and financial performance at 31 March 2019
Group consolidated net sales totalled 346.2 million euro, an improvement of 10.8% from 312.3 million euro in the first quarter of 2018. At constant exchange rates, net sales rose by 10% from the year-earlier period.
The industrial gross margin was 103.9 million euro, up by 7.5% (+8% at constant exchange rates) from 96.7 million euro in the first quarter of 2018. The return on net sales was 30% (31% in the year-earlier period).
Group operating expense in the first quarter was 83.3 million euro (82.2 million euro in the first quarter of 2018).
The changes in the income statement described above generated consolidated Ebitda of 49.5 million euro, up by 14.5% (+16.8% at constant exchange rates) from 43.2 million euro at 31 March 2018, the best first-quarter result since 2006 (date of the IPO). The Ebitda margin was 14.3% (13.8% at 31 March 2018).
Excluding the effects of IFRS 16, Ebitda at 31 March 2019 would have been 47.6 million euro.
Ebit amounted to 20.7 million euro, an improvement of 42.6% from 14.5 million euro in the first quarter of 2018. The Ebit margin was 6% (4.6% at 31/03/2018). Excluding the effects of IFRS 16, Ebit would have been 20.5 million euro.
Profit before tax in the first quarter was 14.2 million euro, an increase of 104.9% from 7 million euro in the year-earlier period. Income tax for the three months was 6.4 million euro, with an impact on pre-tax profit of 45%. Excluding the effects of IFRS 16, first-quarter profit before tax would have been 14.3 million euro, with income tax expense of 6.5 million euro.
Piaggio Group net profit for the first quarter to 31 March 2019 was 7.8 million euro, an increase of 97.7% from 4 million euro in the year-earlier period. Excluding the effects of IFRS 16, Piaggio Group net profit at 31 March 2019 would have been 7.9 million euro, an increase of 99% from the year-earlier period.
Excluding the negative effects of 20.3 million euro from application of IFRS 16, net financial debt was 456.1 million euro, an improvement of 46.8 million euro from 502.9 million euro at 31 March 2018. Considering application of IFRS 16, the NFP at 31 March 2019 was 476.4 million euro, an improvement of 26.5 million euro from 502.9 million euro at 31 March 2018.
At 31 December 2018 net financial debt was 429.2 million euro, lower than at the end of the first quarter of 2019 due to the typical seasonal nature of the two-wheeler business, which absorbs financial resources in the first half of the year and generates them in the second half.
Group shareholders' equity at 31 March 2019 was 402.1 million euro (392 million euro at 31 December 2018).
In the first quarter, Piaggio Group capital expenditure amounted to 29.3 million euro, an increase of 31.4% from 22.3 million euro in the first quarter of 2018.
Business performance in the three months to 31 March 2019
In the first three months of 2019, the Piaggio Group sold 140,400 vehicles worldwide, an increase of 8.2% (129,700 shipments in the year-earlier period), and reported consolidated net sales of 346.2 million euro.
During the quarter, the Group reported growth in sales volumes in all regions, with a particularly strong increase in Asia Pacific on two-wheelers (+16.8%), followed by India (+7%) and the Emea area and the Americas (+6.7%).
In the first three months of 2019, the Group sold 84,600 two-wheelers worldwide, an improvement of 5% (80,600 in the first three months of 2018), generating net sales of 226.7 million euro (+7.9% from 210.1 million euro in the year-earlier period).
The figure includes spares and accessories, on which turnover totalled 30.1 million euro, an increase of 2%.
In the first quarter of 2019, the Piaggio Group reported excellent performance in the Asia Pacific region (+16.8% volumes, +26% turnover) and the Emea region (+4.1% volumes, +5.1% turnover).
In India (2 wheels), the improved product sales mix generated a 7.2% increase in turnover, despite a slight contraction in volumes.
The Piaggio Group confirmed its leadership in the European scooter segment with a share of 23.2% and also maintained a strong positioning on the North American scooter market, with a share of 22.6%.
The scooter segment had a very strong first quarter with double-digit growth in revenue, driven mainly by the Vespa brand and excellent performance in three-wheel scooters, the Piaggio Mp3, the Piaggio Beverly and the Aprilia scooters.
The Group motorcycle segment boosted revenue in the first quarter, largely thanks to the performance of the Moto Guzzi brand, which achieved a significant 24.5% sales increase, generated in particular by the excellent results of the new Moto Guzzi V85TT, the all-terrain model that has enjoyed great success since it began shipping at the end of February.
In commercial vehicles, the Piaggio Group reported sales volumes of 55,800 vehicles, up 13.4% from 49,200 vehicles in the first quarter of 2018, and net sales of 119.5 million euro, up 16.9% from 102.2 million euro in the year-earlier period. The figure includes spares and accessories, where sales totalled 12.7 million euro, up 6.6%.
Sales of three-wheel commercial vehicles in India continued to show steady growth, rising 6.3% to 43,800 shipments. The PVPL subsidiary had an overall three-wheeler market share of 24.3% and confirmed its leadership in the Cargo segment with a share of 44.8%.
In the three months to 31 March 2019, the PVPL production facility exported 9,988 three-wheel vehicles (6,155 in the year-earlier period).
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 the first three months of 2019
Supplementing the information published above and at the time of approval of the 2018 draft financial statements (directors’ meeting of 25 February 2019), this section illustrates key events in and after the first quarter of 2019.
In the first quarter, the Piaggio Group opened its first Motoplex outlet in Istanbul (press release dated
1 April), reaching the milestone of 500 stores worldwide, which flank the traditional two-wheeler distribution network of more than 3,300 dealers. In the last few months Motoplex stores have opened in Spain, Germany, Malta and Greece. In the Asia-Pacific region, new stores have opened in Taiwan, Vietnam and China. Outlets due to open imminently are a second Motoplex in New York (in Brooklyn), a store in Miami, one each in Philadelphia, Dubai, Beijing, and a flagship store in Utrecht.
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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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Share buyback program
In connection with the authorisation for the purchase and disposal of own shares given by the Piaggio AGM on 12 April 2019, the Board of Directors also approved the launch of a share buyback program, which represents a useful strategic investment opportunity for the purposes allowed under law, including the purposes contemplated in art. 5 of Regulation (EU) 596/2014 (Market Abuse Regulation, “MAR”), among which the purchase of own shares for subsequent cancellation, and in the practices allowed under art. 13 MAR.
Purchase transactions under the program will be performed in the manner and in compliance with the limits set out in the aforementioned shareholder resolution, specifically:
- up to 15,000,000 no-par Piaggio ordinary shares may be purchased, for a maximum outlay of 33,700,000 euro, thus within the legal limits (20% of share capital, pursuant to art. 2357, par 3, Italian Civil Code;
- share buybacks shall take place within the limits of distributable earnings and available reserves as reflected in the most recent financial statements (including interim financial statements) approved at the time of implementation of the transaction;
- share buybacks shall be effected on the regulated market in a manner that ensures equality of treatment of shareholders as envisaged by art. 132 of Law 58/1998, with the graduality deemed to be in the interests of the company and in accordance with current laws, adopting the procedures envisaged by art. 144-bis, paragraph 1, head b) of Consob Regulation 11971/1999, as amended, and taking into account the conditions relating to trading as per art. 3 of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1052 (“Regulation 1052”) enacting the MAR (i) for a consideration that shall not be higher than the greater of the price of the most recent independent transaction and the price of the highest independent offer on the trading markets where the buyback is made, without prejudice to the condition that the per-share consideration shall not in any case be more than 20% below or 10% above the mean official Piaggio share price in the ten trading days before each single purchase transaction; (ii) for volumes not exceeding 25% of the average daily volume of Piaggio shares traded on the regulated market where the buyback is made, determined on the basis of the parameters as per art. 3 of Regulation 1052;
- the buyback program may be implemented, in one or more tranches, through 12 October 2020.
As of today, the company holds 873,818 own shares.
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Call of Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting
The Board of Directors also decided to call an Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting by 30 June 2019 to deliberate a number of proposed amendments to articles 5, 7, 8, 12 and 27 of the articles of association as set out in the directors’ report, which will be made available as required under current law after the publication of the notice of call.
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Conference call with analysts
The presentation of the financial results as at and for the quarter ended 31 March 2019, 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 three months ended 31 March 2019 are set out below.
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 2018 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, nor have the accounting schedules attached hereto.
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, 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 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.