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Harley-Davidson roars into record quarter

Harley-Davidson has announced record revenue and earnings for its first quarter ended March 28, 2004.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.17 billion compared with $1.11 billion in the year-ago quarter, a 4.7 per cent increase. First quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) was 68 cents, an 11.5 per cent increase compared with last year's 61 cents.

The company says it is on track to deliver both the short and long-term performance objectives established earlier this year.

Jeffrey Bleustein, chairman and chief executive officer, says: “We are off to a very strong start in 2004 continuing the momentum of our 100th anniversary. We delivered solid financial performance this quarter, and our U.S. dealer network posted the highest first quarter retail sales for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in its history –13 per cent ahead of last year. In addition, we achieved our first quarter motorcycle production target, setting the pace to reach our goal of 317,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles by year-end.”

The company's longer-range objective is for 400,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales globally in 2007 and to deliver an annual earnings growth rate in the mid-teens. Harley-Davidson's board of directors demonstrated its confidence by approving the repurchase of 7.8 million shares of stock during the quarter.

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