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Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff

18 In A Row

By George Obradovich, Jan. 22, 2004
Press Release From Harley-Davidson.com

Company Sets Goal Of 400,000 Motorcycles For 2007

Milwaukee, Wis., January 21, 2004 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HDI) today announced record revenue and earnings for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2003. Revenue for the quarter was $1.16 billion compared with $1.03 billion in the year-ago quarter, a 12.8 percent increase. Net income for the quarter was $182.4 million compared to $150.9 million, an increase of 20.9 percent over the year ago quarter. Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) was 60 cents, a 22.4 percent increase compared with last year's 49 cents.

Revenue for the full year was $4.62 billion, compared with $4.09 billion in 2002, a 13.0 percent increase. Net income for the year was $760.9 million, a 31.1 percent increase versus last year's $580.2 million, while diluted EPS for the full year was $2.50, a 31.6 percent increase compared with $1.90 in 2002.

"This is the 18th consecutive year that Harley-Davidson has achieved records for both revenue and net income," said Jeffrey L. Bleustein, chairman and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. "We had a phenomenal year full of memorable once-in-a-lifetime experiences surrounding our 100th Anniversary. Introducing the Harley-Davidson brand to hundreds of thousands of potential customers has undoubtedly sparked the dream of ownership and created new excitement for our products."

"As we begin our 101st year, we expect to grow the business further with our proven ability to deliver a continuous stream of exciting new motorcycles, related products and services. We have set a new goal for the Company to be able to satisfy a yearly demand of 400,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles in 2007. By offering innovative products and services, and by driving productivity gains in all facets of our business, we are confident that we can deliver an earnings growth rate in the mid-teens for the foreseeable future," said Bleustein.

Motorcycles and Related Products Segment - Fourth Quarter Results

Revenue from Harley-Davidson® motorcycles was $945.3 million, an increase of $125.0 million or 15.2 percent over the same period last year. Shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles totaled 77,056 units, an increase of 11,086 units or 16.8 percent over last year's fourth quarter. The Company's shipment target remains 317,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles for 2004.

Revenue from Parts and Accessories (P&A), which consists of Genuine Motor Parts and Genuine Motor Accessories, totaled $141.0 million, an increase of $11.1 million, or 8.5 percent over the year-ago quarter. Revenue from General Merchandise, which consists of MotorClothes apparel and collectibles, totaled $50.7 million, a decrease of $4.1 million or 7.4 percent. Excluding revenue from 100th Anniversary products in 2002's fourth quarter, the P&A growth rate would have been 20.3 percent over last year's fourth quarter and the General Merchandise growth rate would have been 20.0 percent over the same period.

Gross margin was 35.9 percent of revenue, down slightly from the prior year's 36.1 percent. Gross margin was negatively impacted by a higher proportion of Sportster® motorcycle shipments and higher manufacturing costs, but partially offset by favorable foreign currency exchange. Fourth quarter operating margin improved to 21.5 percent in 2003 from 20.7 percent in 2002.

Motorcycle Retail Sales Data

Retail sales of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles for the year 2003 grew 8.8 percent in the U.S., 6.7 percent in Europe, and 9.0 percent in Japan compared to 2002. Based on the information currently available, Harley-Davidson's full year market share for the 651cc and up segment is expected to grow in all of the Company's major markets. "Given the economic climate during the past year, we are pleased with our retail growth," said Bleustein.

"Although our U.S. dealer network experienced a modest decline in motorcycle sales in the fourth quarter as compared to last year's fourth quarter, we believe it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from this comparison. The urgency to buy a 100th Anniversary motorcycle prior to the celebrations, along with an unusually late shipment plan for '04 motorcycles, created two very different selling environments. We are confident that 2004 will be another strong year for Harley-Davidson due to current dealer confidence, momentum from the 100th Anniversary and improving economic indicators," Bleustein added.

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Motorcycle.com Staff
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