By Mark Clothier
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Harley-Davidson Inc. said it will expand its dealer network in Brazil, as the biggest U.S. motorcycle maker seeks international growth while sales in its home market slow.
The company reached an agreement with HDSP/Grupo Izzo, its exclusive dealer in Brazil, that will allow for appointment of new retailers in the future, according to a statement today that didn’t provide details. Costs of the planned expansion will reduce profit this quarter by as much as 6 cents a share, Milwaukee-based Harley said in a regulatory filing.
Harley’s motorcycle sales in the U.S., its largest market, dropped 37 percent to $2.91 billion last year from 2006, hurt by the recession. The company, which had total motorcycle sales of $4.29 billion in 2009, doesn’t report a breakdown of revenue from Brazil or the Latin America region.
Bob Klein, a Harley spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking a comment.
Harley said it recently opened an office in Sao Paolo. The company has a factory in Manaus, Brazil, where since 1999 it has assembled motorcycles for the sale in that country. Harley has sold heavyweight bikes in Brazil since 1993.
Harley rose $1.19, or 3.8 percent, to $32.47 at 10:14 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares gained 24 percent this year through yesterday.
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