Harley earnings rev up

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. today reported first quarter net income of $224.1 million, or 99 cents per share, up from $172 million, or 74 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The motorcycle manufacturer reported quarterly sales of $1.57 billion, up from $1.42 billion in 2012.

The company attributed the increase to more motorcycle shipments and realized operating efficiencies.

“With our focus on continuous improvement throughout our operations and providing outstanding products and customer experiences, we have continued to deliver gains in Harley-Davidson’s financial and competitive performance,” said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and CEO. “The successful launch of seasonal surge production at our York assembly operations in the first quarter is the latest example of our efforts to drive greater efficiency and be even more responsive to the market.”

Worldwide motorcycle sales were only 54,254, down from 59,677 a year ago. U.S. dealers sold 12.7 percent fewer new motorcycles in the first quarter than in 2012, when spring was much warmer throughout the country.

Harley held its expectations to ship 259,000 to 264,000 motorcycles in 2013, up between 4.5 and 6.5 percent for the full year.

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our employees, dealers and suppliers, we believe Harley-Davidson is well positioned to deliver on all the ways we serve our customers, generate strong results for investors and build a successful business for the long term,” Wandell said.

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