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Jan. 22, 2007 – Finance Digest

January 22, 2007
Filed under Features

Triumph: sales up, profit flat
The Triumph Group reported a substantial growth in new unit sales in 2006, but said its operating profit remained at about the same level as the previous year.
The makers of Triumph motorcycles recently reported some of their year-end financial numbers. The company’s operating profit, before interest and tax, was $19.1 million for its 2006 financial year, which ended June 30.
Total sales rose by 13 percent to $370 million. New unit sales rose 18 percent to 37,400 units from the previous year’s 31,600.
Operating profit did not rise, the company reported, because of Triumph’s investment in new production capacity.
“Our consistent growth over the last few years has given us a strong business platform, and we have expanded our production capacity in the last year to meet the increased demand for Triumph motorcycles,” Tue Mantoni, Triumph’s commercial director, said in a prepared release. “We will also continue to invest strongly in R&D to bring out more exciting new bikes in the future.”
Triumph also reported its global customer research shows its proportion of customers aged under 35 has more than doubled. This customer segment now represents almost a quarter of all Triumph’s customers.


Cycle Country’s ATV sales decrease 17 percent
Cycle Country Accessories Corp. believes recent warmer winters are thawing its ATV accessories sales.
The Milford, Iowa-based manufacturer reported a 17-percent decrease in its 2006 ATV accessory sales in comparison to the previous year in its year-end report. The company blamed warmer winters and a reduction in consumers’ discretionary income due to soaring gas prices as reasons for the sales decline.
Overall, the company’s total revenues were down 4.2 percent to $16.4 million for its year that ended Sept. 30. Previous year revenue amounted to $17.1 million.
Even though the company’s ATV accessories sales were down, Cycle Country reported increased earnings in its three other business segments: contract manufacturing was up 155 percent, Weekend Warrior lawn and garden product revenue increased 139 percent and its plastic wheel cover segment rose 22 percent.
The company also reported its gross profit increased 5.9 percent in comparison to the prior year. The company reported more than $6 million in gross profit, about $740,000 more than the previous year.
Overall, the company’s earnings amounted to .08 cents per share for the year compared to .15 cents for its previous year.
“A comprehensive business plan is being developed, and many action items are already being implemented to turn this company back into a strong, growing and vibrant company that every employee, director and investor will be proud to be part of,” Cycle Country’s new CEO, Randy Kempf, said in a prepared statement.


Fairchild ends discussion about going private
Powersports apparel and accessories provider Fairchild Corp. said its discussions with a holdings company about going private have ended.
Fairchild, which has separate powersports and aerospace segments, announced the termination of the talks on Dec. 5, several months after disclosing a $68 million acquisition offer from Delaware-based FA Holdings LLC, a firm led by Philip Sassower, chairman of Phoenix Group International LLC.
But in September, FA Holdings said it was withdrawing its proposal, saying “we do not believe we will be able to agree on terms that are mutually satisfactory” in a letter addressed to Fairchild. The letter also said, “there is simply too little understanding of the challenges facing the company, which has caused too much of a gulf between us on fundamental business terms.”
The two sides later did meet again, according to Fairchild, but could not reach an agreement.
In other company news, Fairchild said it is withdrawing its common stock from the NYSE Arca, Inc., formerly the Pacific Stock Exchange, to reduce costs and administrative burdens inherent with maintaining dual listings on NYSE Arca and the New York Stock Exchange. Fairchild’s stock will continue to be on the New York Stock Exchange under a heading of “FA.”


BMW Canada reports record sales for 2006
BMW Motorrad Canada reported its best sales year in company history.
The subsidiary of BMW AG said 1,200 BMW motorcycles were retailed in 2006, an increase of 4.3 percent over 2005 sales.
Including auto sales, BMW Group Canada said its record 2006 sales amounted to 23,430 vehicles (BMW and MINI brands combined), an increase of 8.7 percent over 2005 sales. During the month of December, sales were up 13.3 percent over the previous year, retailing 1,843 BMW and MINI vehicles.
In December, 28 BMW motorcycles were retailed in the Canadian market, which includes 18 motorcycle retailers.
“It was a milestone year for BMW Group Canada,” Lindsay Duffield, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We enjoyed our 16th consecutive year of sales increases, and at the same time set individual sales records for BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad motorcycles.”
BMW Group Canada, based in Whitby, Ontario, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG and is responsible for the distribution of BMW luxury performance automobiles, sports activity vehicles, motorcycles and MINI.


Deere’s consumer division reports sales increase
Deere & Co. reported increased year-end sales for its commercial and consumer division, the segment that includes its Gator lineup.
The Outdoor Power Institute ranks Deere’s Gator lineup, which is retailed at 2,000 dealers, as the market share leader for UTVs.
Deere did not disclose its Gator sales, but it did say the commercial and consumer division was up 8 percent for its financial year, which ended Oct. 31. Fourth-quarter sales, however, were down 1 percent.
Overall, Deere & Co. reported a year-end net income of $1.69 billion, or $7.18 per share, an increase over last year’s $1.44 billion, or $5.87 per share. The company also reported its worldwide net sales and revenues increased 3 percent for its fourth quarter.


ISC announces stock buyback plan
International Speedway Corp.’s board of directors has authorized a share repurchase program, under which the company may purchase up to $50 million of its outstanding Class A common shares.
“Our decision to repurchase shares is testament to our confidence in ISC’s strong financial position and the significant visibility of our future operating results,” said James France, ISC CEO. “Combined with the continued successful execution of strategic initiatives designed to capitalize on both internal and external growth opportunities, we believe our capital allocation strategy reflects a balanced approach that will enhance shareholder value and further position the company for long-term success.”


Bell Industries names new CFO
Bell Industries, Inc. has appointed Kevin Thimjon as chief financial officer, a move that became effective Jan. 8.
He succeeds Mitchell Rosen, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.
Thimjon, 40, most recently was division chief financial officer, Systems Integration for Stanley Security Solutions, Inc., a division of The Stanley Works.
He previously served in various senior financial management capacities with ISR Solutions, Inc. and U.S. Office Products Company.
“We are pleased to have attracted an executive with Kevin Thimjon’s experience to lead our financial organization in what we believe will be an exciting period of growth and development for Bell,” said John Fellows, Bell’s chief executive officer.
Thimjon, who will be based at the company’s Indianapolis offices, is a certified public accountant.
Thimjon earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Concordia College.
— Neil Pascale

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