Briggs & Stratton’s consolidated net sales for its fiscal third quarter (Jan-March) were 3 percent higher than the same time one year ago. Engine sales increased 4 percent, but power product sales decreased slightly less than 2 percent, primarily due to a lack of portable generator sales spurred by hurricane-related activity.
Engines. Third quarter net sales for fiscal 2010 were $498.9 million versus $480.2 million for the same period a year ago, an increase of $18.7 million or 4 percent. The increase in net sales was primarily the result of an engine unit shipment increase of 6 percent from the same period a year ago. Offsetting the volume improvement were lower average prices in effect for fiscal 2010. Shipments of engines increased in the third quarter for lawn and garden applications due to the shift of OEM production to the last half of the fiscal year from the fiscal second quarter, reflecting the desire of the channel participants to control their working capital commitments at the end of the calendar year.
Power Products. Fiscal 2010 third quarter net sales were $245.3 million versus $250.2 million for the same period a year ago, a decrease of $4.9 million. The net sales decrease was primarily the result of lower portable generator sales in the quarter, as the current year's quarter did not have hurricane replenishment shipments that were experienced in last year's third quarter. The portable generator sales decrease was partially offset by stronger pressure washer volume and a small improvement in shipments of lawn and garden equipment.
Business Outlook. Consolidated net sales are projected to be approximately 6 percent lower between years primarily due to the absence of hurricane-related sales of portable generators and their related engines, the continued impact of year over year pricing changes and lower engine shipments to Europe for lawn and garden applications. Production levels for substantially all products are planned to be lower in fiscal 2010 to decrease investment in working capital.