Newspaper article The Canadian Press

BRP Hopes Warmer Weather Will Boost Watercraft Sales Just as Winter Helped Ski-Doos

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

BRP Hopes Warmer Weather Will Boost Watercraft Sales Just as Winter Helped Ski-Doos

Article excerpt

BRP adjusted profit, revenue move up

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MONTREAL - Recreational vehicle maker BRP Inc. is counting on a return of warm in North America and Europe to kick-start sales of its personal watercraft just as a cold winter boosted interest in its iconic Ski-Doo snowmobiles.

"We were very happy with the long winter for snowmobile but the cold spring was tough for the summer products," CEO Jose Boisjoli said Thursday during the Quebec-based company's first conference call since going public.

The maker of specialized off-road and highway vehicles (TSX:DOO) as well as Sea-Doo watercraft reported record first-quarter revenues of $804.3 million -- up 5.5 per cent from the same time last year.

Excluding the sale of its sport boat business last fall, revenues were up 11.9 per cent.

Sales were helped by a $13-million gain from the translation of sales in U.S. dollars.

Seasonal products revenues decreased 18.5 per cent to $206.7 million, mostly from a $44-million reduction in sport boat revenues.

Revenues for year-round products increased 27.4 per cent to $404.7 million as it introduced new models such as the Can-Am three-wheeled Spyder ST and the Maverick side-by-side vehicle.

While industry sales were down mid-single digits, BRP said Spyder sales were up although they failed to meet initial expectations.

About half the company's sales are in year-round products, 26 per cent in seasonal, 12 per cent in propulsion systems and 12 per cent in parts and clothing. The United States accounts for more than half of sales, Canada about 18 per cent and 31 per cent elsewhere.

Boisjoli said the long winter provided good snowmobile orders that will help shipments in the second half of the year.

"The flip side of the long winter is the cold spring that we are having so far in Europe and North America. As of now our retail for watercraft and outboard engine are behind last year," he said. …

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