British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph reportedly is forecasting that profits will double this year on the strength of unofficial celebrity endorsements from the likes of Prince William and the Hollywood actor Tom Cruise.

Commercial director Tue Mantoni told the Daily Telegraph profit before interest and tax would jump from £1.5 million to more than £3 million, on turnover up 44% to £180 million, in the year to June 30. Triumph's fortunes are looking up since it lost £4.6 million in 2002-03 after a factory fire, the paper noted.

Mantoni reportedly said motorcycle fans were flocking back to the famous marque, because it was seen as a credible alternative to America's Harley-Davidson. He told the Daily Telegraph: "We want to grow the business by 20% per year for the next three years." Reports that Triumph was in the red in 2004 were inaccurate because the figures did not include retail sales, he reportedly added.

The paper said a number of famous customers were creating a "halo effect". Prince William had been spotted riding a £7,000 Triumph Daytona 650, while the Formula One driver Michael Schumacher was another Triumph owner. Mantoni told the Daily Telegraph: "It definitely helps sales. Michael Schumacher has chosen to ride a Speed Triple. It's fantastic."

Actor Tom Cruise has bought the company's £11,000 Rocket III model, which has a 2.3-litre engine and a top speed "limited" by law to 150mph, the paper added.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more