April 25. 2012 11:00AM - Last modified: April 25. 2012 11:07AM

Harley roars back with strong quarter

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. today reported first quarter net income of $172.0 million, or 74 cents per share, up from $119.3 million, or 51 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 20.3 percent worldwide in the quarter compared to the prior-year period, led by a 25.5 percent increase in the United States.
"We continue to be encouraged by the strong trend at retail and in earnings over the past several quarters. Our first quarter performance reflects the outstanding appeal of our products, the ongoing results of our transformation strategy, the efforts of our dealers and employees, and improving macro-economic conditions in the U.S.," said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson.
"While we are obviously pleased by our strong start to the year, we are more focused than ever on the ongoing implementation of our business strategy and tapping the many opportunities we see globally. Through Harley-Davidson's transformation to world-class manufacturing, product development and retail capabilities, we are positioning the Company to serve our customers even better and help ensure the strength of the business long term," Wandell said.|
On a worldwide basis, dealers sold 59,677 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2012, a 20.3 percent increase compared with 49,595 motorcycles sold in the year-ago period. Dealers sold 39,762 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the United States, a 25.5 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2011.