Strong dollar causes Harley-Davidson to hit the breaks - but motorcycle maker says it will meet expectations

 
James Nickerson
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Harley-Davidson struggles with a strong dollar (Source: Getty)

The figures

It turns out riding isn't so easy these days, after the stronger dollar pushed second quarter net income at Harley-Davidson down to $299.8m, down from $354.2m a year ago.

But the company said it's on track to meet expectations (which it lowered in April), with earnings per share at $1.44 compared with $1.62 in the same period last year.

Consolidated revenue fell to $1.82bn, from $2bn this time last year, although it said it expects sales to rise as much as four per cent in 2014.

Still - sales in Asia rose 16.6 per cent, although they fell 8.9 per cent in Europe.

Why it's interesting

With a major slowdown in the Chinese economy, times are tough for those who rely on the economy - but despite the relative strength of the dollar, Asia proved to be one of Harley-Davidson's strong points.

Weakness in Europe and concerns about interest rates in the US may be causing potential buyers to delay their midlife crises - but the company insisted that in the face of a tough competitive environment, it will meet expectations.

What Harley-Davidson said

Chief executive officer Matt Levatich said:

We are confident in the strength of our business and the strategies we have in place to maintain our industry leadership and grow our business over the long term.

Our singular focus on the customer through unrivalled products, unique experiences and our expanding dealer network is the bedrock we are building on to continue to grow our reach and impact with customers across the globe.

In short

With global growth still muted, potential Harley buyers are suppressing their rebellious streaks - but the company said it expects to meet Wall Street's expectations.

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