Canadian Manufacturing

BRP profits drop, manufacturer cuts production

The Canadian Press

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The Ski-Doo maker plans to cut snowmobile production by 30 per cent this year due to the build-up of inventory languishing in retailers' stockrooms across Canada and the United States.

North America’s warmest winter on record put a chill on snowmobile sales at BRP Inc., which saw profits plummet last quarter as a result.

“I have been in the business for a long time and saw several challenging seasons. But it’s the first time that I’ve seen such difficult conditions,” said CEO José Boisjoli.

“For us, it’s a bad winter.”

The Ski-Doo maker plans to cut snowmobile production by 30 per cent this year due to the build-up of inventory languishing in retailers’ stockrooms across Canada and the United States.


Profits fell 48.5 per cent year-over-year in the three months ended Jan. 31, the Valcourt, Que.-based company reported.

BRP posted net income of $188.2 million for the quarter, down from $365.1 million a year earlier. Revenue fell to $2.69 billion from $3.08 billion the year before.

On an normalized basis, the company said it earned $2.46 per diluted share in its latest quarter compared with a normalized profit of $3.85 per diluted share a year earlier.

Seasonal product sales dropped by more than a quarter, “mainly on snowmobile due to unfavourable winter conditions,” the company said in its earnings release Thursday, dragging down total revenue 12.5 per cent.

Overstocked inventories also resulted from late shipments of seasonal products the previous year — caused by supply chain kinks — meaning dealers had less need to buy new ones from BRP last year, it said.

Nonetheless, Boisjoli remained upbeat about the treaded, two-ski machines — the original product of Bombardier Inc., from which BRP was spun off in 2003.

“We’ll bounce back after,” the chief executive said.

“The industry is quite stable. But it remains that we’re happy to be more diversified than 20 years ago,” he added, pointing to other product lines such as side-by-sides, an off-road vehicle that enjoyed high sales in the company’s fourth quarter.

The warmer weather may even be prompting earlier-than-usual purchases of those powersport products.

“Anecdotally, we’ve had some dealers say, ‘You know what, my snowmobile business has slowed down significantly in February, March, but consumers are walking in and buying [off-road vehicle] products instead,'” said chief financial officer Sébastien Martel.

Looking ahead, BRP forecast revenue of between $9.1 billion and $9.5 billion for this year, versus $10.37 billion in its 2024 financial year.

It predicted diluted earnings of $7.25 per share to $8.25 per share compared with $11.11 per share in the year just past.


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