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Nov. 8, 2010 – Polaris’ sales rise 30-plus percent

November 8, 2010
Filed under Features

For a second straight quarter, Polaris Industries experienced a significant increase in its North American sales, leading to record results.
The Minnesota manufacturer reported record earnings per share in its third quarter as its North American retail sales grew 21 percent over the year-ago quarter. Worldwide, Polaris’ sales rose 33 percent over a year ago.
Even higher sale percentage increases were seen at retail for Polaris’ Victory Motorcycles, which saw more than a 50 percent gain over the year-ago quarter. Polaris officials attributed Victory’s success to its relatively new touring bikes, the Cross Country and Cross Roads.
Polaris CEO Scott Wine noted this quarter marked a significant milestone for the company, which “no longer has the headwind of significantly under-shipping into the (dealer) channel as we have done consistently over the past four years.”
Now, Wine says the company’s wholesale production numbers are more closely meeting retail demand, rather than building fewer units than what is selling at retail in order to ease inventory pressures.
Wine, during the earnings report, also made it clear Polaris will continue to maintain dealer inventories at appropriate levels, noting the company continues to make strides in this area.
“We have worked too hard to get this near steady state and MVP (Polaris’ distribution program called Max Velocity Program) will allow us to sustainably maintain the appropriate balance for our dealers and Polaris,” he said.
Polaris’ third-quarter sales success can be partly attributed to an “extremely robust” UTV market, said company President Bennett Morgan. He noted Polaris’ UTV sales rose by more than 30 percent in the recent quarter, allowing the company to gain more market share on its competition. The latter, including segment newcomer BRP, has brought new product to market that could make the market share competition even more intense in quarters to come. “But to date,” Morgan said, these products have not slowed our growth or our share expansion.”
Another highlight for Polaris: its ATV sales. For the first time since 2005, Polaris saw its ATV retail sales grow by a single-digit percentage over the year-ago quarter. The company managed this as overall industry sales declined by roughly 20 percent, the company said. Year to date, however, Polaris’ ATV sales remain behind its 2009 volume in the low single-digit percentage, Morgan said.
Other notable developments from Polaris’ third-quarter include:

  • Its ATV and UTV market share has increasedq in both North America and Europe;
  • Its off-road vehicle include for North American dealers is down 30 percent from the year-ago quarter and 32 percent for Victory dealers;
  • Its parts and accessory revenue grew 12 percent over the year-ago quarter primarily due to increased UTV and Victory retail sales;
  • Snowmobile sales decreased 6 percent, largely because of a delay in shipments.
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