Ducati announced a record 65,000 fans attended its World Ducati Week 2012 celebration, with fans from around the world gathering in the Misano Circuit to celebrate the Italian brand.

The record crowd took in the entertainment including test rides, live music and feted Ducati’s MotoGP and World Superbike racers. One highlight was the drag race featuring some of Ducati’s current racers and retired WSBK Champion Troy Bayliss.

Ducati Chief Executive Officer Gabriele Del Torchio chose the occasion to provide an update on the company’s business. Del Torchio announced a 12% growth in sales and 20% increase in revenue for Ducati in May, excellent news for Ducati’s new owner, Audi and the Volkswagen Group.

News was especially positive in the U.S. and Asia. According to Del Torchio, May sales saw a 48% year-over-year increase in the U.S. while the Asian market saw a 238% growth.

Here is a transcript from Del Torchio’s press conference:

This is my third WDW and a key moment for everyone who works at Ducati. Through this event, we have the opportunity to share our passion and pride in being part of a prestigious, long-standing brand such as Ducati with the thousands of Ducatisti who have ridden to the Riviera Romagnola from all over the world. We are on the brink of a new era, one that the company begins in the knowledge that all the goals set together with Investindustrial have been achieved brilliantly.

Since 2006 we have doubled our market share and sales and there has also been a net improvement in our financial position. Today, Ducati is a rock-solid company that has aroused the interest of Europe’s largest car maker with whom we’re now ready to begin a new and equally exciting adventure.

The hard work done by everyone at Ducati has paid off and the results confirm the soundness of the strategies implemented from 2006-2011. Thanks to policies focused on product development, ever-higher investment levels, careful marketing aimed at making the Ducati brand ever-more admired and respected worldwide and the development of emerging markets, Ducati saw revenues grow from €305 million in 2006 to €480 million in 2011 while EBITDA rose from €27 million in 2006 to €94 million in 2011. The number of employees has also increased, from 1043 in 2006 to 1193, the number working at Ducati today.

Over these years we have developed the most exciting and innovative product range in our long history, launching no less than 17 new models. These include the Multistrada 1200 in 2010, the Diavel in 2011 and the most recent, the 1199 Panigale. These successes contributed enormously to the increase in sales, which rose significantly from 35,300 bikes in 2006 to 42,200 at the end of 2011.

Despite the shrinking international market (over-500cc = -4% YTD) and after 2011 proved to be the best in Ducati’s history, we understandably felt optimistic going into 2012, which promises equally significant levels of satisfaction and achievement. In fact, during May 2012 we achieved an absolute record with motorcycle sales of over 6,500, a 12% growth compared to May 2011. In the US market, sales increased 48% and on Asian markets a staggering 238%. Positive signs have also been seen in Europe, where in France, for example, sales increased by 13%. Altogether, Ducati saw sales increase by 12% but, even more significantly, revenues increased by 20% (May YTD), highlighting both the increased volumes and the improved product mix. These are achievements that we want to share with our community, with our public, with the Ducatisti who have come here to Misano from all over the world for the seventh edition of World Ducati Week.

Sadly, we will all be aware of the devastation caused by the recent earthquake on the Po Valley plain north of Bologna and its impact in terms of extensive material damage and loss of life. The people, institutions and businesses of Emilia are fighting back bravely, demonstrating admirable strength of spirit and social solidarity. Nevertheless, despite everyone’s best efforts, some slowing of output will be inevitable. Yet thanks also to results such as these, we can look to the future with the strength and optimism that are vital to achieving even greater growth.

[Source: Ducati]