(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday, in a sign that its turnaround plan, which focuses on selling more profitable bikes to affluent customers, was beginning to benefit the company.
In the midst of a near two-year sales drop, Harley reset its strategy in 2020 to focus on selling its high-margin Touring, and large Cruiser and Trike bikes to older and wealthier customers in markets like the United States and Europe.
The bet appears to be paying off, with the company reporting its third consecutive quarterly sales rise, albeit from pandemic-induced lows.
“We have seen many of our Hardwire strategic initiatives perform well, providing encouraging initial proof points of our five-year strategy,” Harley Chief Executive Officer Jochen Zeitz said in a statement.
Harley’s shares were up 1.7% before the opening bell.
Retail sales in the United States, the company’s biggest market, rose to 31,699 units in the third quarter from 31,304 units a year earlier.
Sales from motorcycles and related products jumped 20.4% to $1.16 billion in the quarter, above analysts’ estimates of $1.14 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Net income rose to $163 million, or $1.05 per share, from $120 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, profit was $1.18 per share, above expectations of 70 cents.
(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)