Minneapolis, Minn. - Arctic Cat reported a 15% sales increase on sales of $671.6 million for the year, driven by strong snowmobile, ATV, and side-by-side sales.
Snowmobile sales for the fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2013, increased 5% to $263.7 million. Overall, Arctic Cat's earnings for the year rose 33% to $39.7 million.
"We continued to pursue our strategy to enter new growth segments and launch innovative new products," said Claude Jordan, Arctic Cat's president and chief executive officer.
Snowmobile sales improved for the fourth quarter to negative $5.3 million due to sales incentives vs. negative $6.8 million last year's quarter. Also, Cat announced in February it had entered into an expanded engine supply and co-brand agreement with Yamaha Motor Corp. for the 2014 model year.
At the same time ATV sales increased 16% to $87.6 million in the final quarter. That was up from $75.8 million. Full-year ATV sales rose 32% to $299.8 million. Cat announced a new 50-inch wide, trail-legal Wildcat that will begin shipping in late fiscal 2014. Its narrower stance will allow riders to access ATV trails giving the consumer more riding options.
Sales for PG&A (parts, garments and accessories) in the fourth quarter increased 5% to $31 million vs. $29.5 million in last year's final quarter. This increase was primarily driven by snowmobile parts sales due to better snow conditions than the previous year. For the full year, PG&A sales were flat although improvements were made in the PG&A for Wildcat.
Cat's board of directors has authorized the reinstatement of a quarterly dividend and a $30 million share repurchase program based on strong cash flow and future prospects.
The company ended the fiscal year with cash and short-term investments totaling $112.8 million vs. $62.6 million in 2012. Cat had used $79.3 million in cash to buy all of Suzuki's 6.1 million shares of Arctic Cat Class B common stock in fiscal 2012.
Arctic Cat said it anticipates 2014 fiscal year sales in the range of $754 million to $768 million, an increase of 12% to 14% from 2013. The company also expects gross margins to decrease by about 80 basis points, due to additional Yamaha snowmobiles that will be built in Arctic Cat's factory and due to the Canadian currency impact.
-By Christie Green