Harley-Davidson Sees 12% Rise in Motorcycle Sales in Third Quarter 2005

Harley-Davidson reports that its U.S. sales rose by 12 percent after six months of flat sales.

After two quarters of flat sales, Harley-Davidson Motor Company reports retail sales of its motorcycles climbed by 12 percent in the United States. Sales in Europe and Japan showed similar gains, and the worldwide totals were up by 7 percent.

Stockholders saw earnings for the quarter, which ended September 25, climb from 77 cents per share last year to 96 cents this year. Harley says that quarterly net income $265 million, an increase of $36 million or 15.7 percent and that revenue rose from $1.3 for the third quarter of 2004 to $1.43 billion third quarter 2005, both records.

The return to growth is good new for Harley-Davidson, for the industry, and for the company's 2006 line-up, which hit dealers at the end of July. As the biggest company in the largest market segment—cruiser motorcycle—Harley-Davidson is often viewed as an indicator for the entire industry.

Jim Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. noted that the current economic client warrants some caution and that Harley is watching and preparing for possible slowdowns.

"Harley-Davidson's current performance is outstanding and we have great new products and customer experiences planned for next year. However, as we look ahead we are watching the economy carefully. Given the uncertainty related to consumer confidence, increasing fuel prices and rising interest rates, we are setting a shipment target range of 348,000 to 352,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles for 2006. Consistent with this more conservative outlook, we are also broadening our long-term guidance on wholesale unit growth to 5 to 9 percent annually. This will support an annual earnings per share growth target in the range of 11 to 17 percent," he says in Harley's announcement.

A portion of Harley third-quarter announcement follows.

_HARLEY-DAVIDSON SETS RECORDS FOR QUARTERLY REVENUE AND EARNINGS
U.S. Retail Sales of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Climb 12.1% during the Quarter

Milwaukee, Wis., October 12, 2005 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HDI) today announced record earnings for its third quarter ended September 25, 2005. Third quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) were 96 cents, a 24.7 percent increase compared with 77 cents last year. Net income for the quarter was $265.0 million, up $36.0 million or 15.7 percent. Revenue for the quarter was $1.43 billion compared to $1.30 billion in the year-ago quarter.

"Harley-Davidson had a great third quarter," said Jim Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. "Our motorcycles sold at a brisk pace in all of our worldwide markets. In the U.S., retail sales of Harley-Davidson(R) motorcycles rose 12 percent during the quarter, and in Europe and Japan, retail sales were up 11.5 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Year-to-date, Harley-Davidson worldwide retail sales were up approximately 7 percent."

"We are pleased with these third quarter retail sales results and the positive response to our exciting line of 2006 motorcycles," said Ziemer. "We introduced six brand new models and made significant enhancements to each of our motorcycle families this year, and the changes have been very well received by our dealers, the motorcycle press and our retail customers. Our third quarter results keep us on track with our previously disclosed guidance for 2005 and move us closer to achieving the Company's 20th consecutive year of record revenue and earnings," said Ziemer.

"Harley-Davidson's current performance is outstanding and we have great new products and customer experiences planned for next year. However, as we look ahead we are watching the economy carefully. Given the uncertainty related to consumer confidence, increasing fuel prices and rising interest rates, we are setting a shipment target range of 348,000 to 352,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles for 2006. Consistent with this more conservative outlook, we are also broadening our long-term guidance on wholesale unit growth to 5 to 9 percent annually. This will support an annual earnings per share growth target in the range of 11 to 17 percent," said Ziemer.

Motorcycles and Related Products Segment - Third Quarter Results

Third quarter revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles was $1.11 billion, an increase of $113.6 million or 11.4 percent over last year. Worldwide wholesale shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the third quarter totaled 87,585 units, up 8.7 percent from the year-ago period. The Company's 2005 shipment target for Harley-Davidson motorcycles remains at 329,000 units.

Third quarter revenue from Parts & Accessories (P&A;), which consists of Genuine Motor Parts and Genuine Motor Accessories, totaled $231.2 million. This is a 3.0 percent increase, or $6.8 million more than the same quarter a year-ago.

Third quarter revenue from General Merchandise, which consists of MotorClothes(R) apparel and collectibles, totaled $64.5 million, up 5.1 percent or $3.2 million over the same period last year.

Growth rates for P&A; and General Merchandise fluctuate from quarter to quarter. However, for the long term the Company expects the growth rate for P&A; revenue to be slightly higher than Harley-Davidson's motorcycle unit growth rate, and the General Merchandise revenue growth rate is expected to be lower than the motorcycle unit growth rate.

Third quarter gross margin improved to 39.2 percent of revenue in 2005 compared to 38.0 percent of revenue in 2004. The increase in margin was primarily driven by a favorable motorcycle product mix. Consistent with the higher gross margin, operating margin increased to 25.6 percent in 2005 from 23.6 percent in 2004.

Motorcycle Retail Data

During the third quarter, worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 12.1 percent. Sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles outpaced the total industry in each of the Company's major markets. Data are listed in the accompanying tables.

On a year-to-date basis, Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales were up 5.0 percent in the U.S., 19.3 percent in Europe, and 11.4 percent in Japan.

Industry-wide sales in the 651+cc segment in the U.S. were up 4.3 percent year to date. Through August, retail sales in Europe were down 1.4 percent and in Japan, they were down 1.5 percent.

Financial Services Segment

Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) reported third quarter operating income of $47.6 million, down 5.0 percent from $50.1 million in the year-ago quarter. This decrease was primarily driven by a lower securitization gain versus the third quarter of 2004.

The third quarter securitization of $650 million in motorcycle retail loans resulted in a gain of $9.2 million, which is $4.6 million less than the gain in the third quarter of 2004. The 1.4 percent gain on the securitization as a percentage of loans securitized is consistent with management's prior guidance. In the current competitive market and interest rate environment, HDFS expects fourth quarter securitization gains in the range of 1.0 to 1.4 percent.

Annualized credit losses on a managed portfolio basis increased during the first nine months of 2005 to 0.97 percent from 0.69 percent in 2004. The increase is due to lower recovery rates and a higher incidence of loss.

For the full year 2005, HDFS expects operating income to be approximately equal to that achieved in 2004. Over the long term, the Company expects the HDFS growth rate in operating income to be slightly higher than the Company's motorcycle unit growth rate.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. - Nine Month Results

For the first nine months of 2005, revenue totaled $4.00 billion, a 5.4 percent increase over the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share were $2.57, an increase of 12.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Net income for the nine months was $729.6 million, up $48.8 million or 7.2 percent.

Through the first nine months of this year, shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were 241,429 units, a 2.0 percent increase over last year's 236,702 units. Harley-Davidson motorcycle revenue was $3.10 billion, a 5.4 percent increase over $2.94 billion in revenue in 2004. P&A; revenue totaled $645.8 million, a 3.5 percent increase over last year's $623.7 million. General Merchandise revenue totaled $187.4 million, an 11.0 percent increase compared with $168.8 million during the same period in 2004.

HDFS operating income was $152.2 million, a 1.8 percent increase compared with $149.4 million during the first nine months of 2004.

Cash Flow - Nine Month Results

Operations generated almost $1 billion of cash during the first nine months of 2005. This cash flow along with prior cash reserves enabled the Company to make a $102 million contribution to the post-retirement health care trusts, invest $122 million in capital expenditures, pay $124 million in dividends and repurchase $1 billion of common stock. The Company repurchased 20.6 million shares of its common stock at an average cost of $49 per share during the first and second quarters of 2005._

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