- South Carolina production problems substantially impacted operating income.
- Market shares remained stable in key categories; growth in professional riding mowers, robotic lawn mowers and construction equipment
- Net sales for the Group increased by 4% in the fourth quarter; 5% when adjusted for exchange rate effects.
- Net sales for the Group, adjusted for exchange rate effects, increased by 2% for the year.
Hans Linnarson, Husqvarna President and CEO: "2011 was a challenging year for Husqvarna. We experienced operational difficulties in one of our largest production facilities, which had a substantial negative impact on the Group's operating income. Despite the issues, I am pleased that our sales, adjusted for changes in exchange rates, increased and we maintained our position as global leader. Market shares in key areas remained stable and in some areas they even increased, such as for professional riders, robotic lawn mowers and construction equipment.
Our North American operations remained challenging. Net sales recovered in the second half of the year, but operating income did not recover at the same pace. We are working to improve the margin in our U.S. operations through sustainable measures to improve mix and efficiency.
The outlook regarding consumer demand is difficult to assess. As we have communicated earlier, our listings with major retail customers are unchanged compared with 2011, but with a slightly improved mix. I view this accomplishment as a confirmation of our strategy to consistently invest in innovative, quality products under strong brands. The ramp-up of production ahead of the garden season has been positive and we are now delivering a high level of service and delivery reliability; our top priorities for 2012."