Toro turns in strong 2018
Pro segment sales rise 11.1% for the power equipment manufacturer.
The Toro Company reported fourth quarter 2018 net sales of $539.3 million, rising 10.4% from fourth quarter 2017 net sales of $488.6 million.
For its fiscal year ending Oct. 31, Toro posted record net sales of $2.61 billion, a 4.5% increase from net sales of $2.51 billion in the prior fiscal year.
The Bloomington, Minn.-based power equipment manufacturer also reported fourth quarter net earnings of $39 million for the fourth quarter – an increase of more than 15% from net earnings of $33.8 million for the same period a year ago. Earnings for the year increased a little more than 1% to $272 million from $268 million in 2017.
Professional segment net sales rose 7.5% to $1.94 billion in 2018 from $1.81 billion last year. For the quarter, pro sales grew 11.1% to $400.5 million from $360.4 million a year ago. Earnings in the pro segment were up 5.4% to $399.8 million for the year.
Residential net sales for fiscal 2018 were $654.4 million, down 2.8% from $673.2 million last year. For the fourth quarter, residential sales were $133.2 million, up 8.7% fom $122.6 million last year. Earnings in the residential segment were down 13.2% to $64.8 million.
The full-year residential results were impacted by poor winter conditions early in the year, followed by a late start to spring in many parts of North America, the company said. The second half of the fiscal year saw warmer weather and favorable moisture, which triggered demand for both walk power and zero-turn riding mowers.
“We are pleased to deliver another record year with solid revenue growth led by the professional segment and a strong rebound by our residential business in the second half of the year, driven by an exciting lineup of new products and innovative technologies,” said Richard Olson, Toro’s chairman and CEO.
Olson noted that the company battled rising steel prices, the impacts of tariffs, and increased freight rates, which all had a negative impact on costs.
“With the first quarter of fiscal 2019 underway, we are encouraged by the retail activity in our professional and residential snow and ice management businesses,” Olson said.
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