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Harley-Davidson says restructuring 'largely behind us'

By - Last modified: January 29, 2013 at 11:10 AM

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Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. has declared its substantial, multiyear production overhaul “largely behind us,” according to a news release this morning.

The company also reported today that earnings from continuing operations were up in the fourth quarter last year compared with the year before, the release stated.

However, overall 2011 results were helped by a positive impact from discontinued operations, and led to a decline in earnings for the 2012 quarter on a comparative basis, according to the release.

Harley in 2009 started a process at its York County manufacturing center to decide whether to move out of the area or restructure in place to become more cost effective.

The local restructuring it subsequently chose has included new work processes, consolidating two plants into one and job cuts.

Harley embarked on similar processes for Wisconsin and Missouri facilities.

For the third quarter this year, Harley said its implementation of a new system for York County operations had been a drag on its results.

"The ambitious restructuring of our manufacturing operations, aimed at delivering better responsiveness for customers and greater operating efficiency, is now largely behind us," Keith Wandell, the firm's chairman, president and CEO, said in the news release this morning.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Harley recorded income from continuing operations of about $70.6 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, compared with about $54.6 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

If the discontinued operations line item is taken into account, Harley's results remain the same for the fourth quarter of 2012 but rise to net income of about $105.7 million, or about 46 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

Shares of Harley are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HOG.

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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