MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - North American retail sales for Arctic Cat Inc. increased 17 percent in its fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, helped by sales of Wildcat and Prowler HDX side-by-sides.
But despite plans to introduce two new Wildcat pure-sport side-by-sides in November, as well as the Wildcat 50 Trail model in the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter, the company is expects an uphill climb for the second half of its 2014 fiscal year.
“We are maintaining our full-year outlook for fiscal 2014 but expect a challenging second half of the year,” said Chairman and CEO Claude Jordan. “We anticipate continued strong dealer demand for side-by-sides and snowmobiles, and the new Wildcat models that we expect to introduce in our fiscal second half.”
Net sales grew about 4 percent compared to the same quarter last year, led by contributions from the Wildcat and Prowler HDX side-by-sides, and snowmobiles.
Sales of ATVs and side-by-sides increased 4 percent to $72.7 million, up from $69.7 million in the same period last year, primarily due to strong orders for the Wildcat X and the four-seat Wildcat 4 pure sport side-by-sides, the company reported.
“Our side-by-side business performed well in the 2014 second quarter, with continued strong growth in our Wildcat and Prowler HDX models in North America and international markets outside of Europe,” Jordan said. “However, second-quarter sales of ATVs in North America were lower than we anticipated, combined with ongoing economic headwinds in Europe, both of which contributed to single-digit increases in our ATV and side-by-side sales to dealers.
"On the retail side, we saw strong double-digit sales gains for our ATV and side-by-side business in the fiscal 2014 second quarter due to consumer demand for our new products," Jordan continued. "As a result of lower wholesale and higher retail sales, our ATV dealers now have an improved inventory position that should translate into increased dealer orders going forward. Additionally, with the new side-by-side models that we intend to launch in our fiscal third and fourth quarters, we anticipate solid performance in the second half of the fiscal year.”
Snowmobile sales in the fiscal 2014 second quarter increased 5 percent to $135.4 million, up from $128.6 million in the prior-year quarter.
For the 2014 model year, Arctic Cat launched 10 snowmobiles, including the ZR 6000 El Tigre high-performance sled plus new snowmobile engine options from Arctic Cat and Yamaha through an engine supply agreement.
Arctic Cat also introduced its first designed and built snowmobile engine, the 6000 C-TEC2, which is a powerful, lightweight and fuel-efficient 2-stroke that enables the company to enter the large 600cc snowmobile market segment that now accounts for 18 percent of the snowmobile industry. (continued)