BRP quarterly call: Spark up, Maverick slowing down

Publish Date: 
Jun 12, 2014
By Vince Guerrieri

VALCOURT, Quebec -- The Sea-Doo Spark continues to exceed expectations for BRP, while Maverick ATV sales have slowed down, company Chief Executive Officer Jose Boisjoli said during a quarterly conference call Thursday morning.

“Our Maverick sales are growing, but slower than we targeted,” Boisjoli said.

Boisjoli also said the company expects another strong snowmobile season for 2014-15, and is on track to add 65 to 75 new dealers in North America still this year.

Quarterly revenue for the company totaled $758.6 million (Canadian), a 6 percent decline year over year from the first quarter, when revenues totaled $804.3 million. Revenues were down for seasonal products – including snowmobiles and personal watercraft – as well as year-round products, like ATVs.

Revenues were up for propulsion systems – BRP also makes Evinrude motors – and parts, accessories and clothing. New propulsion systems will be introduced Friday at the Evinrude meeting in Wisconsin. Boisjoli said 1,400 people are expected for the three-day Club event.

Boisjoli said the gains in parts, accessories and clothing were attributable to a lengthy snowmobile season and the availability of accessories for the new Spark, including 25 fully integrated accessories and 20 graphic kits.

The Spark, introduced last year, is an entry-level personal watercraft priced starting at $4,999. The price is comparable to a used model – Boisjoli said 75 percent of personal watercraft sales are of used models – but Boisjoli said it offers the security of a new model.

“It’s creating a lot of interest in the dealer network, and I think it will have positive momentum,” Boisjoli said. “So far the Spark is delivering on what is planned, even better than planned, and we are very enthusiastic about the personal watercraft market going forward.”

BRP dealers had raised concerns in a just-completed Dealernews/Baird research survey about inventory. Specifically, some dealers felt they needed to keep too much inventory on hand to remain a certified BRP dealer.

ATV sales were down in the first quarter, but Boisjoli said that the new models introduced last month, including the Outlander L and Outlander 6x6 will help the company make inroads into the ATV market, where BRP has just 5 percent market share.