Swedish-based Husqvarna, maker of outdoor power equipment, reported full-year 2013 net sales of SEK 30,307 million (approx. USD $4,659 million), compared to SEK 30,834 million in full-year 2012. Net sales were up 2% after adjusting for the impact of currency exchange.
Operating income for 2013 was SEK 1,608 million (approx. $247 million), compared to 2012's SEK 1,931 million), excluding items affecting comparability.
“The year ended with a continuation of the positive sales development from the third quarter. Sales for the seasonally weak fourth quarter were up 8%, adjusted for changes in exchange rates, with higher sales in all business areas," said Kai Wärn, president and CEO. "The operating loss for the quarter decreased to SEK -308 million (from SEK -348 million), excluding items affecting comparability, where the Americas contributed with the largest improvement."
Wärn said 2013 started off slow, but a stronger second half resulted in a 2% net sales growth for the full year, adjusted for currencies. "From a market demand point of view, North America recovered in line with the relatively positive macro economy, while Europe had a more mixed picture."
Wärn said the decline in operating income arose from Europe and Asia/Pacific markets, with earnings hurt by unfavorable exchange rates and lower factory utilization due to planned inventory reductions. "For the group, changes in exchange rates and under-absorption had a total negative impact on operating income of almost SEK 0.5 billion compared to 2012."
He added, "For Americas, prior year's large operating loss was turned into a slightly positive result. Growth in the higher-margin dealer channel was double digit and productivity improved. We are now moving into the next phase of the U.S. turnaround."
The company also started a new organization for retail and dealer operations.
"In 2014-2015, our main priority is to execute and build momentum in our accelerated improvement programs to support margin improvement," Wärn said. "In terms of demand, I am cautiously optimistic given the continued improvements in the U.S. economy and by the European indications of stabilization."
to Daily News