Dealer Meet: Arctic Cat Expects Profits by Fiscal '09

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Arctic Cat has 11 new or heavily modified ATVs for 2009, builds vehicles using an extremely modern, automotive-style production process, and is offering a variety of new programs designed to help dealers sell ATVs and snowmobiles. These were the main messages conveyed to about 2,300 dealer representatives who visited the manufacturer's headquarters and production facility last month in Thief River Falls, Minn.

Arctic Cat ended its business year on March 31. Full-year net sales were $621.6 million, down from $782.4 million in the previous fiscal year, and the company reported a full-year net loss of $3.3 million versus net earnings of $22.1 million in fiscal 2007. Year-end ATV sales were $350.3 million compared with $431.5 million last fiscal year; snowmobile sales totaled $161.9 million, down from $247.0 million; and PG&A sales were $109.4 million, up from $103.9 million.

Arctic officials told dealers they anticipated that fiscal 2008 would be a challenging year, but nevertheless say they expect the company to return to profitability in fiscal 2009. The OEM estimates first-quarter net sales, for the period ended June 30, to be in the range of $85 million to $95 million versus net sales of $87.9 million in the same period last year. For the fiscal year, ending March 31, 2009, Arctic Cat expects net sales to grow between 5 percent and 8 percent, and be in the range of $650 million to $674 million.

"We are focused on achieving growth by offering innovative products that drive market share gains, and lowering costs through our strategic sourcing initiative and by further leveraging our efficiency," says Christopher A. Twomey, Arctic Cat's chairman and CEO. "Following our planned, lower snowmobile production last year, to align dealer inventory with retail demand we expect increased snowmobile revenues. We also anticipate flat to slightly higher ATV revenues, based on increased Prowler utility vehicle and international ATV sales, as well as an overall richer product mix."

Visit www.dealernews.com to learn about Arctic Cat's new dealer programs, the 2009 ATV line, and to view an image gallery of the company's manufacturing facilities.