KTM jumped to a record profit in 2018 (LEON NEAL)

Vienna (AFP) – European’s leading motorbike maker, KTM, booked record profits last year as it lifted sales and expanded its market share, according to preliminary figures obtained by AFP on Tuesday.

KTM, based in Mattighofen close to the German border, said its net profit climbed by 28 percent to 108 million euros ($124 million) in 2018 as unit sales jumped by 10 percent to 261,454 motorcycles.

Turnover edged up by two percent to 1.56 billion euros.

And the group, whose brands include KTM and Husqvarna, said its market share grew to 11.7 percent from 8.9 percent.

KTM said it is targeting annual sales of 400,000 units by 2022, which would represent an increase of 50 percent over the 2018 figures, with growth coming from emerging economies such as India.

KTM acquired the Husqvarna brand from German rival BMW in 2013.

It produces the majority of its motorbikes at the plant in Mattighofen and exports more than 90 percent of its output.

The group, which employs a workforce of 4,300, is listed on the Vienna stock exchange, but remains 62-percent owned by its chief executive, Stefan Pierer.

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