Harley-Davidson Inc.'s fourth quarter earnings slid 33 percent, but CEO Keith Wandell said Tuesday the company reached its growth goals last year.

Worldwide retail sales of Harley motorcycles increased 7.5 percent during the quarter and 6.2 percent for 2012 compared to the same time periods in 2011.

"Together with our dealers, we grew sales to U.S. outreach customers faster than to core customers, grew U.S. market share and continued to expand internationally," Wandell said.

The growth yielded the company a $70.6 million profit for the fourth quarter, compared to $105.7 million during the same quarter in 2011.

Motorcycle shipments also fell 7.2 percent, declining from 50,730 bikes shipped in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 47,067 bikes shipped during the fourth quarter of 2012.

But Milwaukee-based Harley expected lower shipments last quarter and announced plans for a seasonal production surge this quarter at the local plant in Springettsbury Township.

"The company believes surge production will provide the flexibility to produce more motorcycles closer to customer demand during the prime selling season," according to news release.

Harley expects to increase motorcycle shipments 10 to 18 percent during the first quarter, sending 71,000 to 76,000 motorcycles to worldwide dealers and distributors.

Throughout the year, the manufacturer expects to ship 259,000 to 264,000 motorcycles, a 4.5 to 6.5 percent increase compared to 2012 numbers.

A webcast of Tuesday's financial announcement can be accessed on the Harley website at http://investor.