updated 10/12/2006 9:25:13 AM ET 2006-10-12T13:25:13

Harley-Davidson Inc. said Thursday third-quarter profit jumped 18 percent, lifted by a rise in retail sales of its namesake motorcycles.

Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 24 totaled $312.7 million, or $1.20 per share, compared with a profit of $265 million, or 96 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue climbed 14 percent to $1.64 billion from $1.43 billion last year.

Analysts expected a profit of $1.10 on revenue of $1.58 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

Worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 8.9 percent. Shipments grew 10.8 percent to 97,046 units.

Looking ahead, Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson said it expects earnings growth between 11 percent to 17 percent annually through 2009.

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