Harley profits up, shares down

Both motorcycle and merchandise sales increase but it's not all good news for HD

HARLEY-Davidson have reported a 30 percent rise in profits in Q2 of 2012 but despite the rise, its shares fell following a cautious outlook on Europe.

The Milwaukee-based company reported net income of £159.2m but the chief executive, Keith Wandell, said the company races a challenging eurozone economy.

Since the decline of sales to baby-boomers, Harley have stepped up their efforts to target women, ethnic minorities and young adults. Surprisingly, motorcycle sales have grown by 4 percent in the US this year.

Harley's retail sales are vital to its profits, these sales rose 10 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 37.9 percent in Latin America, offsetting weaker demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where sales fell by 6.4 percent.