Briggs & Stratton Corp. recently announced softer fiscal 2006 fourth quarter net sales than it expected. Fourth-quarter net sales for the engine segment were about 18 percent lower than projected on lower-than-forecasted unit volume of about 23 percent. The decrease in units resulted in fiscal 2006 engine shipments declining 8 percent from fiscal 2005.
Briggs & Stratton officials attributed the decrease to lower shipments of engines to lawn and garden equipment manufacturers, a trend consistent with current industry forecasts that indicate shipments of mowing equipment by OEMs will drop 7 to 8 percent for the 2006 season. The forecasted decline is also attributed to early spring weather patterns compounded by consumers pulling back from discretionary purchases because of higher interest rates and increased gasoline prices. A contributing factor is the current trend of retailers to reduce inventory, company officials said.
The Milwaukee-based manufacturer expects to release its fiscal 2006 fourth quarter and full-year results on August 10.