Husqvarna Group announced net sales for the third quarter of 2013 of SEK 6.3 billion (about U.S. $997.7 million), an 8-percent increase from SEK 5.8 billion in the third quarter of 2012. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, net sales increased 12 percent. Operating income in the quarter amounted to SEK 206 million (U.S. $32.4 million) from SEK 197 million a year ago.

“The good sales momentum from the end of the second quarter held up well over the third quarter,” said Kai Wärn, president and CEO. “Demand in both Europe and North America was supported by favorable weather conditions and a delayed garden season. Group sales for Europe and Asia/Pacific increased 8 percent, Americas 20 percent and Construction 6 percent, adjusted for changes in exchange rates.”

A positive development for Europe and Asia/Pacific was offset by a decline for Americas, as the majority of the strong sales growth in North America referred to low-margin consumer products in the retail channel. In addition, operating income was impacted by inefficiencies in the supply chain, caused by inability to benefit from scale.

“Although we see positive signs in our work towards our strategic goals, there is a need to further accelerate and broaden the scope for ongoing programs to reduce product cost and business complexity,” Wärn said. “From a top-line perspective, we will focus resources on our core premium brands Husqvarna and Gardena and product leadership areas like professional handheld, robotic mowers and watering. Additionally, we will review how to further differentiate the dealer and retail business models, which we see as a key measure to drive margin recovery, especially in the U.S.”

Husqvarna Group is a producer of outdoor power products including robotic lawn mowers, garden tractors, chainsaws and trimmers.