Briggs & Stratton narrows loss

Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. last week reported a fiscal 2015 first quarter net loss of $15.3 million, or 34 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $19.3 million, or 41 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

Revenue was $292.6 million, down from $317.3 million in the same period a year ago.

Engine segment revenue was $153.1 million, down 16.7 percent from $183.8 million in the third quarter of 2013. Revenue for the products segment was $166.1 million, up 9 percent from $153 million in the same period a year ago.

During the quarter, the company completed its $62 million cash acquisition of Holdrege, Neb.-based Allmand Bros. Inc., which manufactures towable light towers, industrial heaters and solar LED arrow boards used in construction, roadway, oil and gas and mining.    

“As we expected, the first quarter results reflect improved profitability in both the engines and products businesses despite lower engine sales,” said Todd Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Coming into the fiscal year, we anticipated that higher channel inventories of lawn and garden equipment would impact our first quarter engine sales compared with last year which benefitted from lower channel inventories and strong late season retail sales of equipment. Our OEM customers and retailers have taken actions to reduce inventories which impacted our engine sales. Despite the sales decrease, we are pleased with the improved margins in both the engines and products businesses, reflecting the cost cutting actions and our focus on higher margin products, including the acquisition of Allmand.”

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