Briggs Sees Potential Sales Shift This Season

Jan-Feb-March sales hold steady; demand solid for lawn and garden products but sales may shift to later in year.

Briggs & Stratton’s third-quarter fiscal 2015 (Jan-Feb-March) sales were down 1.5% compared to one year ago, but adjusted net income was up about 1.3%. Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton’s chairman, president and CEO, says the company continues to make progress in introducing new products and improving operations.

"The restructuring of our Products business to focus on higher-margin products and streamline our manufacturing operations has contributed to improved Products segment earnings of nearly $5 million in the quarter and $20 million for our fiscal year to date,” Teske points out. “We also launched several innovative products this spring including our new EXi engine that never requires oil changes and our new In-Start lithium-ion electric starting technology providing users with our easiest push button-starting engine ever."

ENGINES SEGMENT. Net sales in the third quarter were down 4.5% from the prior year. Total engine volumes shipped in the quarter decreased by 1.6% or approximately 50,000 engines. Engines shipped to third-party OEM customers increased slightly in the quarter. However, shipments to Briggs & Stratton’s Products segment were down in the quarter due to higher shipments earlier in the year to enable production in advance of the McDonough, GA, plant closure.

PRODUCTS SEGMENT. Net sales in the third quarter were up 2.9% from the prior year. This increase was due to higher sales in international markets, increased commercial lawn and garden equipment sales in the North American market, and the results of the Allmand acquisition which took place late last year.

BUSINESS OUTLOOK. Briggs & Stratton is projecting consolidated net sales for its entire fiscal year, ending June 30, to be in the range of $1.90 to $1.95 billion. This decrease is primarily related to slowing growth rates in sales of product in international regions as well as the impact of the strengthening U.S. dollar.

That said, Briggs continues to estimate that the retail market for U.S. lawn and garden products will increase an estimated 1-4% in the next season. However, it is possible that sales of lawn and garden products shift to later in the season due to retail sales patterns, retailer reorders, and OEM production schedules.

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