Husqvarna’s Jan-March worldwide sales were up 6%, but the company hasn’t been able to capitalize on growing demand in North America due to “production disturbances” which the company says are the result of transferring zero-turn lawn mower production from its Beatrice, NE, facility to its plant in Orangeburg, SC, in addition to an increase in the number of new products being introduced this season.
As a result of the disturbances, sales in the Americas were flat despite an increase in end-user demand, and operating income was in the red despite a worldwide increase in operating income of 7%.
Looking ahead to the second quarter, Husqvarna says its inventories are slightly higher than last year at this time, but end-user demand is much stronger. Plus, the company has increased its listings with a major retailer after a reduction last year. However, the production disturbances that plagued the company in the first quarter are expected to continue to have a negative effect on sales and profit.