Wauwatosa, Wis.-based Briggs & Stratton last week announced fiscal 2008 fourth-quarter consolidated net sales of $581.1 million and consolidated net income of $0.5 million or $0.01 per diluted share. The fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 had restated consolidated net sales of $677.6 million and restated consolidated net income of $18.1 million, or $0.36 per diluted share. The consolidated net sales decrease of $96.5 million or 14 percent was due primarily to decreased shipment volumes in both the Engines and Power Products Segments. Included in net income for the fiscal 2008 fourth quarter is a $13.3 million pretax ($8.1 million after tax or $0.16 per diluted share) gain associated with the reduction of certain post closing employee benefit costs related to the closing of the Port Washington, Wis., manufacturing facility.
Included in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 was a $7.9 million pretax ($4.8 million after tax or $0.09 per diluted share) write-down of assets associated with the plan to close the Port Washington facility. After considering the impact of the items related to the Wisconsin facility and snow engine recall expenses in the fourth quarter of 2007, fourth-quarter consolidated net income was lower by $33.7 million as compared to the prior year.
For fiscal 2008, the company had consolidated net sales of $2.15 billion and consolidated net income of $22.6 million or $0.46 per diluted share. Fiscal 2007 restated consolidated net sales were $2.16 billion, and restated consolidated net income was $6.7 million or $0.13 per diluted share. The $5.4 million decrease in consolidated net sales was due to the net effect of reduced shipment volumes in both operating segments being offset by a favorable mix of product and currency exchange rates in the Engines Segment.
In the Engines Segment, fiscal 2008 fourth-quarter net sales were $389.6 million versus the restated $462.4 million for the same period a year ago, a decrease of $72.8 million or 16 percent. The decrease in net sales was primarily the result of a 25-percent decrease in engine unit shipments compared to the same period a year ago offset by a favorable currency exchange rate and mix of product shipped. Engine shipments for lawn and garden applications were significantly impacted by lower retail sales caused by depressed home sales and weak consumer confidence.
Net sales for fiscal 2008 were $1.46 billion versus the restated $1.45 billion in the prior year, an increase of $12.8 million or 1 percent. The increase reflects the impact of a favorable mix of shipped products and a favorable currency exchange rate offset by a 4-percent reduction of engine shipments. The decrease in unit volume is primarily due to the lower demand for engine-powered lawn and garden equipment in the U.S. that was experienced in the fourth quarter.
Income from operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 was $18.8 million, down $6.0 million from a restated $24.8 million during the same period in the prior year. After considering the impact of the snow engine recall in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, income from operations was lower by $11.0 million between years, the result of lower sales volumes and increased selling and administrative expenses being partially offset by lower manufacturing costs related primarily to the rationalization of a manufacturing plant.
Income from operations for fiscal 2008 was $69.5 million, up $43.0 million from a restated $26.5 million in fiscal 2007.
In the Power Products segment, fiscal 2008 fourth-quarter net sales were $245.6 million versus a restated $283.0 million from the same period a year ago, a decrease of $37.4 million. The net sales decrease was due to a reduction in unit shipments in every product category except shipments of lawn and garden equipment to mass retailers, which reflected product placement that the company did not have in the prior year. Generally, these sales decreases mirror the weak consumer demand experienced during the spring selling season.
Net sales for fiscal 2008 were $870.4 million versus a restated $890.0 million in the prior year, a $19.6 million decrease. The net sales decrease for the year was caused by the same factors discussed for the quarter.
The loss from operations for fiscal 2008 was $40.1 million, which included the $13.3 million gain that occurred in the fourth quarter. Restated income from operations for fiscal 2007 was $6.0 million, which included the $7.9 million expense related to the write-down of assets. After considering the impact of the items related to the closure of the Wisconsin facility, income from operations between years was lower by approximately $67.3 million. The reasons for the $67.3 million change between years are the same as those indicated for the fourth quarter.
For fiscal 2009, the company projects that net income will be in the range of $42 to $46 million or $0.85 to $0.93 per diluted share. The estimate is based on the assumption that consolidated net sales will grow 5 to 6 percent between years primarily due to pricing initiatives. The estimate assumes that the markets for all our product categories will be relatively flat in fiscal 2009 and production levels will be similar to those in fiscal 2008.
The board of directors also last week declared a quarterly dividend of $0.22 per share on the common stock. This dividend is payable Oct. 1, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 25.