“Hog” motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson has announced record sales and earnings for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2001.

Revenue for the quarter was $US894.4 million compared with $756.2 million in the year-ago quarter, an 18.3 percent increase. Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) were 39 cents, a 26.8 percent increase compared with last year’s 31 cents. Revenue for the full year was $3.36 billion, compared with $2.91 billion in 2000, a 15.7 percent increase. Net income for the year was $437.7 million, a 25.9 percent increase versus last year’s $347.7 million,
while diluted EPS for the full year were $1.43, a 26.4 percent increase compared with $1.13 in 2000.

“The year 2001 was our 16th consecutive year of record revenue and income, in spite of the weaker global economy,” said Harley-Davidson chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bleustein.

“Worldwide retail sales in the fourth quarter were strong with 12.9 percent unit growth over last year. Even though the world is experiencing difficult economic conditions, fourth quarter retail sales and progress in expanding our motorcycle capacity have given us the confidence to increase our production target to 258,000 for 2002 and we will continue to manage our business for the long-term while carefully monitoring the motorcycle market and other near-term indicators.”

Fourth quarter motorcycle shipments totalled 63,535 units, up 9,406 units or 17.4 percent over the same period last year, including 1,703 new V-Rod models.

Q4 motorcycle revenue was $723.3 million, an increase of $117.2 million or 19.3 percent. Parts and accessories sales totalled $110.8 million, an increase of $12.3 million, or 12.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. General merchandise apparel and collectibles sales totakled $47.5 million, an increase of $6.8 million or 16.8 percent.

Harley-Davidson Financial Services reported fourth quarter operating income of $17.0 million, up $4.0 million or 31 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

Retail sales for 2001 grew in the U.S. and in Japan, up 14.4 and 10.7 percent, respectively, compared to last year but sales in Europe were down 2.0 percent compared with 2000.

Harley-Davidson believes the strong U.S. dollar and weak European economies are contributing to slower sales in Europe.

“We expect to grow worldwide market share for heavyweight motorcycles in 2002,” said Bleustein.