Ducati has released its 2020 financials, and they are a mixed bag. The impact of COVID is likely a large part of their so-so financial performance. Ducati, like other manufacturers, was forced to shut down their production lines for a time. In Ducati’s case, a seven-week shutdown during the peak part of the riding season ultimately hurt their numbers.
Good news/Bad news financials
First, overall sales fell to 48,042 machines. This reflects a 5,141 unit decline and a 9.7 percent reduction in sales versus 2019. Ducati is putting a positive spin on the reduction by saying that the sales gap was “limited” to 9.7 percent compared to 2019.
Revenue was also down. The Italian manufacturer’s 2020 earnings of € 676M represent a € 44M decrease versus 2019.
But there were bright spots. Overall sales in some markets were up. Sales in China were up 26 percent, Switzerland 11 percent, and Germany 6.7 percent.
And Ducati seems to be making more profit on each bike. The turnover per bike of € 14,883 is up versus 2019, where the turnover was € 13,500. That means that each bike brought Ducati approximately € 1,400 additional euros per bike. Ducati says that the increases in pricing “reflects the strategy of evolving the product range towards the highest and premium part of the market. Does that sound familiar?
Financials OK but executives pleased with company performance
In its press release, Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali says:
“2020 was indeed a challenging year but we are satisfied with our financial performance throughout. Thanks to rigorous discipline, we were able to reduce fixed costs thus limiting operating margin drop. At the same time, vastly reducing inventories had positive effects on cash flow, which is the best ever recorded to date. Investments in new products were fully untouched and this paved the way for a positive development of Ducati in the future.”
“A heartfelt thank you goes out to the women and men of Ducati who, every day, with passion and dedication, contribute to the company’s strength and success even in this very complex and tough year.”
Ducati’s CEO, Oliver Stein, had this to say:
“Financial stability is extremely important for the company to support its technological development, product and process innovation programmes, along with Ducati Corse department activities. A solid financial foundation guaranteed [sic] us to maintain these important pillars also in these challenging times. We are glad that we were able to guide Ducati through such a complex situation in 2020 and we start the 2021 with a trusting attitude to recover clearly faster than originally anticipated.”
Happy with employee performance
In the same press release, Ducati also took the time to blow its own horn about its employees and workplace, saying that it is able to achieve its financial results “thanks to the continuous support of its working women and men, Ducati is ready to face the new year with energy and enthusiasm.”
The company pointed out that it is once again one of Italy’s “most attractive employers” and received the Top Employer Italy certification” for the seventh consecutive year.
Reacting to COVID
During 2020, Ducati’s 1,800 employees “was able to respond quickly to the evolving situation imposed by the pandemic in terms of working arrangements.”
To meet the situation head-on, Ducati says it set up an internal task force to bring together interdivisional skills. This, they say, ensures “… method, sensitivity, constant and transparent communication with employees.”
The company also says that several initiatives ensure that workers and their families get the support they need. They point to the initiatives giving employees maximum work hours flexibility. They also offer assistance in finding home care services for children and the elderly using the company’s “Welfare platform.”
Ducati also provides its outlook for 2021. With a network of 738 dealers in over 90 countries, the Italian manufacturer is looking forward to the new year. They point out the arrival of some new models this year. Deliveries of the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled Fasthouse and the new Monster will begin this year. And Ducati’s SuperSport 950 and Ducati Scrambler Nightshift will become available in the United States and Canadian dealers starting in April 2021.
The new Ducati Scrambler Fasthouse is a limited edition machine. It commemorates Ducati’s entry, partnership, and success in the Mint 400. During the event, Ducati rider Jordan Graham took victory in the Hooligan class. As a limited edition model, Ducati will only produce 800 examples of this new model.
Ducati says that its SuperSport 950 is an evolved model with new fairings. They say that the new styling gives the bike “more sportiness, dynamism, fluidity in shapes and a strong and decisive resemblance to the Panigale V4…” It will also come with “a full LED headlamp complete with daytime running lights.
All photo credit: Ducati