Harley announces £135.3 million loss

Redundancies, factory closures and company restructure blamed for first quarterly shortfall in over 16 years

TROUBLED US motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has reported a fourth-quarter loss - its first quarterly shortfall in over 16 years.

The company have stated recent restructuring costs and the sluggish economy as the key factors behind the reported $218.7 million loss (£135.3 million).

In the last few months Harley-Davidson has striven to streamline its business through redundancies, factory closures, along with the much publicised execution of subsidiary company Buell. It's reported Harley shipments of its bikes to dealers in 2009 fell 27 percent, to 223,023.

“Our full-year 2009 results were affected by the difficult economy, as well as the planned actions we took that resulted in restructuring charges of $224 million. We believe these actions are critical to restoring greater profitability and long-term growth to Harley-Davidson,” says Keith Wandell, Harley-Davidson, Inc. president and chief executive officer. “We are confident we have made the right decisions for our future, and we are executing our strategy with focused intensity.”

Company revenue has also taken a steep decline, experts say: down 40 percent, to $764.5 million from $1.28 billion a year ago.

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