Harley profits move up a gear

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson reported a stronger-than-expected profit yesterday – but only because improved results at its once-struggling finance arm helped offset stubbornly soft sales of its bikes. The company also said the economy in the US, its biggest market by far, continues to hurt sales there and said it was not sure when US buyers would return to dealer showrooms. Harley-Davidson reported a third-quarter net profit of $88.8m (£56.6m), up from $26.5m a year earlier.