Ducati appoints new CEO of US Operations

BOLOGNA, Italy, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (NYSE: DMH, Milan's Telematico: DMH), a leading manufacturer of high performance motorcycles, today announced record consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter and...

BOLOGNA, Italy, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (NYSE: DMH, Milan's Telematico: DMH), a leading manufacturer of high performance motorcycles, today announced record consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter and full year, ended December 31, 2001.

For the fourth quarter, revenues were Euro 123.9 million (US$110.5 million) representing a growth of 18.4% over the same period in 2000. Revenues from Ducati motorcycles for the period increased 19.7% to Euro 108.5 million and represented 87.6% of revenues. Motorcycle-related products, including spare parts, technical accessories and apparel, rose 8.8% to Euro 15.0 million over the comparable period in the previous year.

For 2001, revenues were Euro 407.3 million (US$362.9 million) representing like-for-like growth of 9.2% over 2000. Total sales were up 7.3% from Euro 379.5 million (US$334.3 million) during the previous year. This discrepancy is due to a decrease of "miscellaneous other sales" of Euro 6.5 million, reflecting the one-off buy-back of inventory from the newly established UK subsidiary from the previous importer in January 2000. Revenues from Ducati motorcycles increased 9.0% to Euro 344.9 million and represented 84.7% of revenues. Motorcycle-related products rose 9.8% to Euro 61.4 million over the same period last year.

"The fourth quarter showed a notable improvement in our revenue growth, making it the strongest quarter of the year, mostly thanks to a strong December," said Carlo Di Biagio, Chief Executive Officer of Ducati Motor Holding. "All in all, I am very satisfied with our sales in 2001, given the volatile climate of recent months. In particular, towards the end of the year, we have seen enthusiastic acceptance of our model year for 2002 -- especially the 998 Superbike -- and are seeing the benefits of the re-organisation of our North American subsidiary."

While official world registrations data for the period are not yet available, the Company's best estimates suggest that fourth quarter registrations showed an improvement, growing around 2% versus previous year. Registrations for 2001 are estimated to have grown approximately 1%, with weakness in the US (-23%) and in Italy (-3%) more than offset by strength in Japan (+51%), in the UK (+10%), and France (+8%).

During the fourth quarter of 2001, new independent Ducati Stores exclusively selling Ducati motorcycles and accessories were opened, including one in Zurichsee (Switzerland), Nantes (France), Regensburg (Germany), Matsudo Chiba and Tomei Yokohama (Japan), bringing the total to 88 stores worldwide at year-end.

In addition, the Company announced the appointment of Joseph Piazza, 36, as Chief Executive Officer of Ducati North America. The appointment is effective as from February 4, 2002, and Mr. Piazza will report directly to Nicola Greco, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Ducati Motor Holding.

Mr. Piazza brings to Ducati North America over ten years of experience of the motorcycle industry and is the third generation in his family to be involved in the motorcycle world. He has worked in sales, marketing, product strategy, operations and finance for a number of leading motorcycle-related companies in the US. During his career, he has been General Manager of Tucker Rocky and Helmet House, the largest motorcycle helmet, leather apparel and accessories distributor in the US. Most recently, and for the last four years, Mr. Piazza held the position of Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Global Motorsport Group/Custom Chrome, the largest independent manufacturer and distributor of after-market parts and accessories for Harley Davidson and Japanese motorcycles.

"I have been a passionate motorcyclist all my life and cannot wait to take on this role for one of the world's most exciting motorcycle companies," said Mr. Piazza. "There are huge opportunities for Ducati in the US, and I look forward to exploiting them with my lifetime of experience of the motorcycle industry and understanding of the US market."

"Joseph Piazza is exactly what we need to build Ducati into the leading performance motorcycle brand in the US," added Carlo di Biagio. "I am confident that his broad experience and enthusiasm for motorcycles are a perfect combination to build up this hugely important market for Ducati."

Please note: these data are preliminary and may be subject to minor changes. Final data will be announced on February 15, 2002, along with 2001 net earnings results.

Founded in 1926, Ducati builds racing-inspired motorcycles characterized by unique engine features, innovative design, advanced engineering and overall technical excellence. Ducati has won nine of the last eleven World Superbike Championship titles and more individual victories than the competition put together. The Company produces motorcycles in four market segments which vary in their technical and design features and intended customers: Superbike, Supersport, Monster and SportTouring. The company's motorcycles are sold in more than 40 countries worldwide, with a primary focus in the Western European and North American markets. For more information about the Company, please visit our web site at http://www.Ducati.com .

This press release contains statements that are forward-looking and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, as described in the Company's 2000 annual report, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 20-F, dated July 2, 2001.

- Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

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Series Automotive , World Superbike