Briggs & Stratton Closes Fiscal '15 On Up Note

Sales up 8.5% for April-June, 1.9% for the year.

Briggs & Stratton’s fiscal fourth-quarter sales, for the months of April through June, were up 8.5% compare to a year ago. This closes a fiscal year in which Briggs realized a 1.9% sales increase over the previous year.

"Sales and earnings significantly improved this year as we saw continued improvement in our key markets, a more normal start to the spring lawn and garden season, and solid execution of our strategy by our team," said Todd J. Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton Corporation. "The strong earnings improvement is due to executing our plan this year in a number of areas. We held or grew our engine market share. We expanded margins in both the engines and products businesses due to launching several new products, growing our portfolio of higher-margin commercial products by completing two acquisitions in the job site and commercial turf categories (Allman Bros. and Billy Goat), and executing on our cost reduction initiatives in the products business. These sales and profitability improvements were achieved despite significant foreign currency headwinds caused by a stronger U.S. dollar."

Engines Segment. Sales were up 10.7% in the fourth quarter, but down less than a percentage point for the year.

Products Segment. Sales were up 2.7% in the fourth quarter, and 7.1% for the year. Briggs attributes this to several factors, including its acquisitions of Allmand Bros. and Billy Goat, and improved sales of commercial lawn and garden equipment in North America. These sales success stories were partially offset by weaker generators business, and the company’s narrowing of the Snapper-branded equipment lineup.

Outlook. Briggs & Stratton is forecasting modest growth of 1-3% in its 2016 fiscal year which commenced in July.

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