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HEADWINDS CHALLENGE FOR POLARIS

Leading US powersports manufacturer Polaris Industries achieved a year of strong recovery in 2021, but struggled to maintain impetus in the final quarter. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Annual revenue rose by 16.7% to £6.067bn. Turnover for the group’s key off-road vehicle (ORV) and snowmobile segment was 14.4% up to £3.839bn. Revenue from motorcycles, encompassing the Indian bike and Slingshot trike brands, improved by 24.1% to £534.3m.

Operating profit for the full year more than trebled to £524.9m, against a mere £157.2m in 2020. Net profit climbed by 295.8% to £365.6m.

Commenting on these results, Polaris chief executive Mike Speetzen said: “We delivered record sales and earnings in 2021, propelled by the Polaris team’s dedication and tenacity as they capitalised on opportunities while navigating the macroeconomic-related headwinds.”

However, fourth-quarter performance showed distinct signs of weakening. Overall revenue in the final three months was marginally positive by 0.7%. But the ORV contribution fell by 2.5% to £1.059bn, while motorcycles added 2% to £111m.

Quarterly operating profit plunged by 41.1% to £114.7m and net profit was more than halved, 56.3% down to £64.3m.

According to Speetzen, this sharply declining Q4 profitability was “driven primarily by higher input costs, including logistics, components and commodity prices, as well as plant inefficiencies related to supply-chain constraints.”

$-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 26 January

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