Highlights, the group results

In 2009, the Piaggio Group sold 607,700 vehicles in the world, 410,300 of which in the two-wheeler business and 197,400 in the Commercial Vehicles business.
With regard to the two-wheeler business, such performance took place within a particularly difficult market context in the Group’s main reference areas. In fact demand dropped compared to the same period of the previous year in Europe (- 17%) as well as in the United States (- 40% globally and - 57% in the scooter segment).
Deliveries in the Asian market grew with sales of 36,900 units, a 61.8% growth with respect to the corresponding period of the previous year. It should also be noted that, on 24 June 2009, the sale of the Vespa LX scooter, produced in the Vietnamese plant of Binh Xuyen, was officially initiated in Vietnam.
Sales on the Italian market, on the other hand, decreased (- 4.7%), as in the European market (- 20.4%) and the American market (- 41.2%).
The Commercial Vehicles division closed the year with 197,400 units sold, compared to 178,100 units in 2008. The growth of 10.8% is due to the success of its Indian subsidiary, where sales increased by 14.3%.
With respect to the above events, consolidated net sales in 2009 amounted to 1,486.9 ML € (- 5.3% compared to 2008).
This downturn in turnover also affected the change in the exchange rate of the euro against other currencies, with a negative effect on turnover of approximately 17.5 ML € compared to 2008.

The gross industrial margin is equal to 467.1 ML € compared to 468.8 ML € in 2008, with the percentage accounting for turnover going up (31.4% compared to 29.9% in 2008), thanks to a strong focus on keeping product costs down.

Operating expenses decreased by 11.7 ML € compared to 2008 (- 3.1%), despite greater amortisation/depreciation of the period due to investments in new models and engines over the past few years coming into effect.

Consolidated EBITDA stood at 200.8 ML €, registering an increase compared to 189.1 ML € in 2008. The percentage of EBITDA accounting for revenues also went up, from 12.0% in 2008 to the current 13.5%.

Operating income reached 104.4 ML €, compared to 94.5 ML € in 2008 (+10.5%), with amortisation/depreciation totalling 96.4 ML € (+ 1.8 ML € + 1.9 ML € compared to 2008).

Earnings before tax were equal to 74.1 ML € (+ 24.2% compared to 2008) and net profit was equal to 47.4 ML € (+ 9.4% compared to 2008), after taxes of 26.7 ML €.

Consolidated net financial debt changed from 359.7 ML € as of 31 December 2008 to 352.0 ML € as of 31 December 2009. The decrease of 7.7 ML € is due mainly to the positive trend of cash flow from operating activities, which made it possible to finance the investment programme, the distribution of dividends accounting for 22.5 ML € and the purchase of own shares amounting to 1.2 ML €.