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Polaris’ first-quarter revenue falls 20 percent

Polaris Industries reported sales decreases in each of its product lines for its first quarter, an outcome the company had previously forecasted.

Polaris said its first-quarter sales fell 20 percent to $312 million compared to a year ago. Its largest segment, the off-road vehicles category that includes ATVs and side-by-sides, fell 19 percent vs. the previous-year period. Polaris officials said sales of its side-by-sides, which had been a highlight in recent quarters, were lower compared to the 2008 first quarter.

The availability of consumer financing appears to be having an impact. Polaris said during its first quarter 44 percent of consumer retail loan applications were approved, a 7 percentage point decrease from the fourth quarter of 2008.

One early bright spot for the company appears to be Victory retail sales, which were up slightly over last year. The company’s wholesale Victory sales, however, are down dramatically (49 percent) as the company is seeking to lower dealer inventories and improve its model mix.

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