Stockholm, Sweden-based Husqvarna last week announced that fourth-quarter net sales increased 4 percent to SEK 4.99 billion (about U.S. $751.1 million) from SEK 4.79 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. Operating loss in the quarter was SEK 236 million (about U.S. $35.5 million) from a loss of SEK 63 million in the same period a year ago. Changes in exchange rates had a negative effect of a loss of SEK 47 million and costs directly related to production disturbances amounted to a loss of SEK 30 million.
For the full-year 2011, net sales increased 2 percent on a strengthened market position for construction. Operating income in the full year amounted to SEK 1,551m (U.S. $233.3 million) a significant decrease from SEK 2.45 billion in the year-ago period. Changes in exchange rates had a negative effect of SEK -382 million and costs directly related to production disturbances amounted to SEK -398 million.
“2011 was a challenging year for Husqvarna,” said Hans Linnarson, president and CEO. “We experienced operational difficulties in one of our largest production facilities, which had a substantial negative impact on the group’s operating income. Despite the issues, I am pleased that our sales, adjusted for changes in exchange rates, increased and we maintained our position as global leader. Market shares in key areas remained stable and in some areas they even increased, such as for professional riders, robotic lawn mowers and construction equipment.”
The board of directors has proposed a dividend of SEK 1.50 per share for 2011.