Polaris Industries Inc. says sales for its third quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled $544 million, an increase of 11 percent from last year's third quarter sales of $490.1 million. The company's sales for the first nine months of the year totaled $1.239 billion, up 3 percent from sales of $1.208 billion during the same period in 2006.
Polaris CEO Tom Tiller says the sales results stem from the operating plan laid out at the beginning of the year, adding: "Dealer ATV inventories are much lower than a year ago, the benefit of our productivity and efficiency improvement programs are being realized and many new products introduced this year are selling nicely."
ATV sales in the 2007 third quarter increased 15 percent from the third quarter 2006, and were up 2 percent for the comparable nine-month period. Polaris says the increase reflects the new product introduction success of the RANGER RZR and continued demand for the base RANGER side-by-side utility vehicles — in fact, Tiller says demand continues to outpace supply for the RZR.
However, growth was offset somewhat by the planned reduction in shipments of core ATVs to dealers during the third quarter 2007 in the continued effort to assist dealers in reducing their inventory levels and the ongoing impact of weak overall market conditions. As a result of these efforts, core ATV dealer inventories for the third quarter 2007 are significantly lower than the same period last year and sequentially lower from the second quarter 2007 to the third quarter 2007.
Sales of Victory motorcycles decreased 17 percent during the 2007 third quarter compared to the third quarter of 2006, and were down 2 percent for the comparable nine-month period. The company says a more challenged industry retail environment caused it to ship fewer cruiser motorcycles to dealers during the third quarter 2007 than in the third quarter 2006. Still, company leaders say they remain optimistic about Victory's business, and suggest dealers begin preparing for greater quantities of the Victory Vision in the fourth quarter 2007.
Snowmobile sales increased 5 percent during the 2007 third quarter compared to the prior year's third quarter, and were up 4 percent for the comparable nine-month period. Polaris says the third quarter increase reflects a benefit of product mix related to the timing of shipments of the new models as well as the positive impact of currency movements.
Parts, Garments, and Accessories sales increased 13 percent during the 2007 third quarter compared to last year's third quarter, and were up five percent for the comparable nine-month period. Polaris says PG&A sales were impacted primarily by increased shipments of ATV and RANGER side-by-side related product, particularly accessories for the new RANGER RZR, as well as the timing of delivery of preseason snowmobile-related PG&A during the third quarter.
Polaris expects fourth quarter 2007 sales growth in the range of 12 to 15 percent, and expects full year sales to grow in the 5 to 6 percent range over 2006.
"While the recent macro economic environment has caused some concern within the overall markets in which we compete, we are continuously monitoring consumer spending and industry trends and are making adjustments as appropriate," Tiller says. "However, given the positive feedback we received at our dealer meeting held in July, our continued productivity and efficiency improvement efforts and the success of several of our new products, we are optimistic about the future."