Briggs & Stratton Finishes Down Sales Year

Briggs & Stratton's fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 consolidated net sales were $477.2 million, a decrease of $24 million (4.8%) from the prior year. Sales for the entire fiscal year were down 9.9% from the year before, finishing at $1.9 billion. The fourth quarter ended June 30.

"During fiscal 2013, our industry continued to be impacted by cautious consumer spending on outdoor power equipment and channel inventory corrections following last summer's droughts in the United States and Australia," said Todd J. Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton Corporation. "We have seen retail sales momentum increase over the past several weeks compared to last year, and we believe that inventory levels in the channel are decreasing to more normal levels. Focusing on things within our control, we had solid execution during the year on realizing $37 million in cost savings from our restructuring actions, exiting the lower-margin mass retail lawn and garden products business, and expanding our international distribution in Southeast Asia and Latin America including the acquisition of Branco in Brazil …"

Engines Segment

Engines Segment fourth-quarter net sales were $299 million, which was $23.4 million or 7.3% lower than the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. This decrease was driven by reduced shipments of engines used on walk and riding lawnmowers, pressure washers and snowthrowers in North American and European markets. OEM customers, retailers and dealers took actions to reduce channel inventories coming off a historic drought during last season in North America and a late start to warmer spring weather this season in both North America and Europe. Net sales were also lower in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 due to an unfavorable mix of engines sold and unfavorable foreign exchange of $2.3 million primarily related to the Euro.

Engines Segment net sales for fiscal 2013 were $1.19 billion, which was $120.3 million or 9.2% lower than the same period a year ago.

Products Segment

Products Segment fourth-quarter net sales were $203.1 million, a decrease of $17 million or 7.7% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. The decrease was primarily related to the company's decision to exit the sale of lawn and garden equipment through national mass retailers. In addition, pressure washer sales decreased in North America from last year due to a later start to this spring selling season. The net sales decrease was partially offset by higher sales of lawn and garden equipment to dealers in the U.S. and increased net sales in Brazil from the acquisition of Branco in December of 2012.

Products Segment net sales for fiscal 2013 were $805.5 million, a decrease of $146.7 million or 15.4% from the same period a year ago. Approximately $90 million of the net sales decrease resulted from Briggs' decision to exit the sale of lawn and garden equipment through national mass retailers. The remaining decrease was primarily due to lower sales volumes of snow equipment due to significantly below average snowfall in North America, and reduced sales of lawn and garden equipment resulting from prolonged drought conditions in the United States and Australasia. The decrease in net sales was partially offset by higher shipments of portable and standby generators in the North American market.

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