Briggs & Stratton caps rough quarter

Milwaukee-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. today reported a fiscal fourth quarter net loss of $55.0 million, or $1.17 per share, compared with a net loss of $8.4 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company’s quarterly net sales dipped to $477.2 million from $501.2 million a year earlier.

Briggs recorded a non-cash pre-tax goodwill and trade name impairment charge of $90.1 million ($62.0 million after tax or $1.30 per diluted share) during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 within its Products Segment. Pre-tax charges related to the previously announced restructuring actions and a legal settlement were $5.7 million and $24.1 million during the three and twelve months ended June 30, 2013, respectively.

“During fiscal 2013, our industry continued to be impacted by cautious consumer spending on outdoor power equipment and channel inventory corrections following last summer’s droughts in the United States and Australia. We have seen retail sales momentum increase over the past several weeks compared to last year and we believe that inventory levels in the channel are decreasing to more normal levels,” said Todd Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs. “Focusing on things within our control, we had solid execution during the year on realizing $37 million in cost savings from our restructuring actions, exiting the lower margin mass retail lawn and garden products business and expanding our international distribution in Southeast Asia and Latin America including the acquisition of Branco in Brazil. Our focus on reducing the working capital requirements in the business resulted in over $160 million of cash flows from operations in fiscal 2013 and a solid balance sheet which positions us well for executing our strategy of growing the global engines business and expanding in higher margin products in our existing markets and in developing regions of the world.”

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