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Early Snowthrower Demand Boosts Toro Sales
Aug 28, 2014
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Outdoor power equipment maker The Toro Company reported net earnings of $50 million on a net sales increase of 11.3% to $567.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2014. In the comparable fiscal 2013 quarter, net earnings were $40.1 million on net sales of $509.9 million.

In the first nine months, Toro net earnings were $163 million on a net sales increase of 6% to $1.759 billion. In the comparable fiscal 2013 period Toro had net earnings of $149.9 million on net sales of $1.659 billion.

Toro Residential segment net sales in 3Q fiscal 2014 were $175.7 million, up 13% from 3Q fiscal 2013. Residential segment earnings in the quarter were $18.7 million, up 24.1% from 3Q fiscal 2013.

Snowthrower sales saw strong early demand from retailers, who expect a strong retail pre-season.

Residential zero turn mowers also grew as a result of continued retail demand for this mowing platform.

In the first nine months, Residential segment net sales were $533.7 million, up 11.7% from the first nine months of fiscal 2013. Residential segment earnings were $60.7 million, up 16.9% from the first nine months of fiscal 2013.

Toro's Professional segment net sales in 3Q fiscal 2014 were $384.7 million, up 11.9% from 3Q of fiscal 2013. Sales of golf equipment and irrigation products were strong.

Professional segment earnings in 3Q fiscal 2014 were $74.8 million, up 23.7% from 3Q fiscal 2013. Professional segment earnings were $244.7 million, up 4.8% from 3Q fiscal 2013.

Turf maintenance and ground engaging equipment sales were up, which the company credits to continued demand by landscape contractors for its productivity enhancing products.

In the first nine months, professional segment net sales were $1.209 billion, up 3.4% from the first nine of 2013.

“Our team is especially proud to deliver record results and double-digit sales and earnings growth for the third quarter in which we also celebrated our Centennial milestone,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “After successfully managing through the challenges of a late spring, our quarterly results benefited from favorable summer growing conditions in key markets that, similar to last year, helped drive retail sales across most of our businesses.

Hoffman added, “With our Centennial on July 10, 2014, we officially launched the company’s second century. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on the key things that have driven our past performance: developing innovative products, serving our customers and executing in the marketplace. We will keep a close eye on both retail demand and field inventory levels and make adjustments as necessary. We also will continue to seek opportunities across the enterprise to improve productivity and leverage expenses."

The company now expects revenue growth for fiscal 2014 to be about 6%.

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