Sales sink for Bombardier watercraft and marine engines

SAINT-BRUNO, Quebec – Watercraft sales declined 22 percent and sales of marine engines fell 4 percent for Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) in fiscal 2004 compared to the prior year, the company reported in a statement Friday.

BRP combined its financial results from Feb. 1 to Dec. 18, 2003 – the day BRP was created after being spun off from parent company Bombardier Inc. – and Dec. 19, 2003 to Jan. 31, 2004.

The manufacturer said its watercraft sales had decreased, compared to fiscal year 2003, because of its decision to shift watercraft production and deliveries to the early part of fiscal year 2005 to better match retail activities. Despite the decline, the company said it expects to maintain its “leadership position in the [watercraft] market place” due to its introduction of the RXP model.

The company said the dip in marine engine sales was caused by the strength of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar, which “more than offset the increase in volume of product deliveries.” BRP said its E-TEC family of products was enjoying high customer acceptance and was quickly making headway in all of its markets.

Overall, BRP reported its consolidated revenues were stable at C$2.5 billion for the combined year 2004, and said its net income was C$12.7 million, compared to C$114.8 million the year before. That reduction arose mainly from the fair valuing of the assets, liabilities and foreign exchange contracts on Dec. 18, 2003, as required at the time of acquisition of the recreational products business, by a decision to postpone watercraft production and deliveries and by higher warranty costs related to the recall of model year 1992 to 1996 watercraft fuel tanks, BRP said.

Jose Boisjoli, BRP president and CEO, said the company is “ready to capitalize on our leadership position in the snowmobile and watercraft markets.”

“Based on our product offering and our strong position in the market place, we look at fiscal year 2005 with confidence,” he explained. “We are aiming at generating more synergies and reducing our global operating expenses through our new consolidated operational structure. A closer relationship with our dealers, a more focused marketing strategy and the identification of new sources of supply combined with our innovative, state-of-the-art families of products, give us a strong footing going forward.”

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