Surprisingly strong retail sales boost Polaris

Stronger than expected North American retail sales led to a record 2010 finish for Polaris Industries.

The Minnesota manufacturer reported sales and market share gains in each of its vehicle categories in its fourth quarter, leading to all-time highs in revenue and net income.

Side-by-side sales largely fueled the better-than-expected quarter, but Polaris overall saw its North American retail sales grow by 15 percent.

The fourth-quarter success resulted in Polaris reporting a record net income for its full year of $147 million.

By category, here’s how Polaris did in its record fourth quarter:
• Polaris’ ATV retail sales were flat versus a year ago, but its side-by-side sales rose more than 20 percent. Wholesale, Polaris’s revenue rose 40 percent for its off-road division. For dealer inventories, ATVs are down 33 percent while company officials characterized UTV inventory as “tight.”

• Victory’s North American retail sales grew 15 percent in the quarter over a year ago. Dealer inventories are now down 30 percent compared to a year ago. Company officials said Victory has made modest market share gains in the cruiser segment and stronger gains in the touring segment.

• Snowmobile sales rose due to shipment timing and stronger retail demand. Quarterly wholesale sales rose 28 percent and for the full year, 5 percent.

For more on Polaris’ record quarter, see an upcoming edition of Powersports Business.

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