Briggs & Stratton earnings up in 2Q

Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. reported fiscal 2015 second quarter net income of $6.9 million, or 15 cents per share, up from $702,000, or 1 cent per share, in the second quarter of 2014.

Operating income was $13.3 million, up from $5.2 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was $444.3 million, up 6.6 percent from $416.6 million in the second quarter of 2014.

Original equipment manufacturers, the company said, have been pushing production later in the year, which may impact its third and fourth quarter results. In addition, lighter snowfall than last winter has slowed snow equipment sales.

The company completed the acquisition of Allmand Bros. Inc. for about $62 million on August 29, and the integration has been going well, Briggs leaders said during an earnings call. They remarked that the acquisition has exceeded their expectations. Restructuring charges during the second quarter were $6.8 million, up from $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2013.

Briggs’ closure of its McDonough, Ga. plant, which will shift work to its Wauwatosa plant and create 370 jobs here, is expected to happen in the fourth quarter.

“We are pleased to report improved quarterly results with margin improvements in both our engines and products businesses. These improvements reflect our cost reduction efforts as well as our focus on new product innovation and selling higher margin products,” said Todd Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton. “Looking forward to the upcoming U.S. lawn and garden season, we have gained additional placement of our engines on lawn and garden products as compared to our placement last year. We continue to expect modest industry growth in the upcoming season. Further, we are again introducing several new products this spring including the industry’s only engine that doesn’t require an oil change. All of this together sets us up for continued improvement for the last six months of our fiscal year. However, we expect our OEM customers will ramp up their seasonal production later than last year in response to higher channel inventories of residential lawn and garden equipment, causing our quarterly results to shift between quarters.”

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