Husqvarna this week reported net sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 increased 1percent to SEK 4.79 billion (about U.S. $742.3 million) from SEK 4.73 billion (U.S. $732.7 million) in the same period of 2009. Growth for Europe and Asia/Pacific, and Construction offset lower sales for Americas. Operating income and operating margin improved for all business areas.
For the full-year 2010, net sales were SEK 32,240 (U.S. $4.99 billion), a 5-percent decline from SEK 24,074 (U.S. $3.73 billion) in full-year 2009. In the period, market shares for park and garden products in Europe and Asia/Pacific and for construction products in North America strengthened. There was also strong growth for dealer channel sales.
Operating income for full-year 2010 increased by 57 percent to SEK 2.45 billion (U.S. $378.6 million) from SEK 1.56 billion (U.S. $241.6 million) in the year-ago period. The board proposed a dividend of SEK 1.50 (U.S. $0.23) per share, and improvement over SEK 1.00 (U.S. $0.15) a year ago.
“Demand recovered during the year and we strengthened our market positions for outdoor products in Europe and for Construction,” said Magnus Yngen, president and CEO. “After several years of decline, demand recovered also in the U.S. Despite the recovery, sales and profitability in the region were weak as we had significantly lower listings. For the Group, full-year operating income and margin were significantly above last year’s levels. Innovative new products and a strong focus on our dealer network were important contributors to the positive development.
“We expect higher shipments to the trade in the first quarter of 2011, compared with the first quarter of 2010, due to improved listings and a continued focus on dealer sales,” Yngen added. “We also expect a continued recovery of end-user demand for forest, park and garden products as well as for construction products.”
Husqvarna has North American headquarters in Olathe, Kan.