Briggs & Stratton reports higher profit on improved conditions, acquisitions

Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. announced fiscal fourth quarter net income of $20.1 million, or 45 cents per share, up from $7.8 million, or 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Operating income at the outdoor power equipment engine manufacturer was $31.2 million, up from $10.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Quarterly revenue totaled $538.8 million, up from $496.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The increase was the result of higher engine sales on better market conditions, as well as the impact of the recent acquisitions of Allmand and Billy Goat. It was partially offset by the strong U.S. dollar, which had a $9.4 million impact on sales.

For the full year, Briggs reported net income of $45.7 million, or $1 per share, up from $28.3 million, or 59 cents per share, in 2014.
Full-year operating income was $66.2 million, up from $46.3 million last year.

And 2015 revenue totaled $1.9 billion, flat from 2014.

“Sales and earnings significantly improved this year as we saw continued improvement in our key markets, a more normal start to the spring lawn and garden season, and solid execution of our strategy by our team,” said Todd Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton. “The strong earnings improvement is due to executing our plan this year in a number of areas. We held or grew our engine market share. We expanded margins in both the engines and products businesses due to launching several new products, growing our portfolio of higher margin commercial products by completing two acquisitions in the job site and commercial turf categories, and executing on our cost reduction initiatives in the products business. These sales and profitability improvements were achieved despite significant foreign currency headwinds caused by a stronger U.S. dollar.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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