Briggs & Stratton has announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended September 29, 2013.
- First-quarter consolidated net sales were $317.3 million, an increase of $8.3 million or 3% from the prior year.
- Higher North American consumer engine shipments and sales of equipment to dealers increased as consumer demand rebounds from last year's drought.
- Lack of storms in quarter caused lower portable generator sales compared to last year when Hurricane Isaac hit in August.
- Planned engine and products production cuts lowers inventories and reduces margins in the quarter.
- First-quarter adjusted net loss was $16.5 million, $3.3 million higher than the adjusted net loss of $13.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
"Our first-quarter results were slightly better than we anticipated as we experienced increased consumer demand for lawn and garden equipment leading to higher shipments of engines that power these products, and higher shipments of lawn and garden products to our dealers," commented Todd J. Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton Corporation. "We have also seen continued strength in standby generator sales; however, portable generator sales decreased with Hurricane Isaac landing last year and no significant storm activity this year," continued Teske. "Higher retail sales of lawn and garden equipment have helped to reduce channel inventories. We also lowered our inventory by reducing production in the quarter compared to last year. While this reduced productivity and margins in the near term, our inventory levels are better aligned for manufacturing to retail demand in the upcoming lawn and garden season."
Engines Segment sales were up 11.7% from a year ago. This increase was driven by higher sales of engines used on lawn and garden equipment and related service parts to customers in the North American and European markets due to more favorable late-season growing conditions this year.
Product Segment sales were down 11.7% from a year ago. The decrease was primarily related to lower sales of portable generators due to no landed hurricanes in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. However, this decrease was partially offset by favorable late-season growing conditions during the first quarter of fiscal 2014 that led to higher sales of lawn and garden equipment through Briggs' North American dealer channel.