Arctic Cat sees increased snowmobile, UTV sales

Arctic Cat Inc. reported it has already seen snowmobile sales rise in its first fiscal quarter of 2012, and the ATV segment, which includes side-by-sides has jumped 36 percent.

The company reported that although the first fiscal quarter is traditionally slow in sales because of the seasonality of its products, snowmobile sales have increased 2 percent over the year-ago period to $17.4 million. And president and CEO Claude Jordan said he expects to see a hike of 25-28 percent for the fiscal year as the company has introduced 23 new models to its lineup.

The company’s ATV segment, which includes UTVs, saw a sales increase of 36 percent to $37.9 million in the first quarter. Contributing to that success were Prowler and international sales.

“Sales of our ATVs outperformed the industry in the first quarter, and we gained market share,” Jordan said. “We are excited to launch our first entry into the growing sport side-by-side market with our Wildcat model, and we remain on track to ship this off-road vehicle to dealers in fiscal 2012. Looking ahead, we expect continued growth in fiscal 2012 in our ATV segment, due to the competitive strength of our core ATV and Prowler offerings and the growth potential for the Wildcat sport side-by-side model.”

Sales of parts and accessories rose 7 percent to $19.7 million. Arctic Cat launched its PG&A e-commerce website during the quarter.

The company also saw positive results in other areas. Net sales increased 18 percent to $74.9 million, and gross margin grew by 210 basis points.

“We are very pleased with Arctic Cat’s double-digit sales gains and improved profitability in the 2012 first quarter. Revenue grew across all product lines, with particularly strong sales of our Prowler side-by-side utility vehicles contributing to the quarter’s results,” Jordan said. “We continued to focus on our strategies to increase sales by offering innovative products featuring first-to-market technologies, and to improve profitability through a continued emphasis on operational excellence and a lower cost structure.”

Arctic Cat raised its forecast for the fiscal year on account of its successful first quarter. The company now anticipates sales to increase 12-14 percent to $520 million to $530 million over fiscal 2011. Previously, the company had forecasted 2012 sales at $488 million to $502 million. Dealer inventories are also expected to decrease 10-20 percent for the year.

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