Briggs Engine Sales Slump, Lawn Products Jump

Quarter ending September 28, 2014 saw 9% jump in lawn product sales, despite overall sales dip of 7.8%, mainly due to lower engine sales.

Briggs & Stratton’s fiscal first quarter, for the July-Sep 2014 timeframe, saw mixed results.

Overall sales were down 7.8% compared to the same quarter one year ago. This is mainly attributable to slumping Engines Segment sales due to higher channel inventories in North America, in addition to lower snowthrower engine sales to OEMs in Europe. Engines Segment sales were down 16.7%.

On a positive note, Products Segment sales were up 9% from one year ago. Lawn and garden equipment, snowthrowers and pressure washers all saw a nice bump. Briggs & Stratton’s recent acquisition of Allmand Bros., which was made for $62 million in cash, is also helping drive Products Segment performance. Allmand has reportedly generated roughly $80 million in annual revenue.

"As we expected, the first quarter results reflect improved profitability in both the engines and products businesses despite lower engine sales," said Todd Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton. "Coming into the fiscal year, we anticipated that higher channel inventories of lawn and garden equipment would impact our first quarter engine sales compared with last year which benefitted from lower channel inventories and strong late-season retail sales of equipment. Our OEM customers and retailers have taken actions to reduce inventories which impacted our engine sales. Despite the sales decrease, we are pleased with the improved margins in both the engines and products businesses, reflecting the cost cutting actions and our focus on higher-margin products, including the acquisition of Allmand."

Briggs & Stratton’s second quarter will close at the end of December.

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