Minnesota, United States: The Toro Company has reported net earnings of US$173.9 million, or US$3.02 per share, on a net sales increase of 6.4 per cent to US$2.173 billion for its fiscal year ended October 31, 2014.
In fiscal 2013, the company – an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation – delivered net earnings of US$154.8 million, or US$2.62 per share, on net sales of US$2.041 billion.
For the fourth quarter, Toro reported net earnings of US$10.9 million, or US$0.19 per share, on a net sales increase of 8.3 per cent to US$414.1 million. In the comparable fiscal 2013 period, the company posted net earnings of US$5 million on net sales of US$382.4 million.
“Fiscal 2014 was a significant year for The Toro Company for many reasons,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We delivered record sales, operating earnings and earnings per share, which enabled us to successfully achieve our Destination 2014 revenue and profitability targets.
“We celebrated our centennial and officially launched the company’s second century. We entered into and subsequently closed the largest acquisition in our history with the addition of the BOSS professional snow and ice management business.
“Finally, we returned almost US$150 million to our shareholders through the payment of US$45 million in dividends and the repurchase of more than 1.6 million shares of our common stock.
“I’d like to thank the entire team for their dedication and execution throughout the year. Their passion for innovation and customer service helped to drive retail sales across our portfolio.
“On the residential side of our business, we delivered double-digit revenue growth fuelled by abundant snow conditions in key North American markets early in 2014 that generated strong in-season sales of our snow thrower products.
“Low field inventories and pent-up consumer demand set the stage for the robust snow pre-season that began late this summer and continues to date. The residential business also saw gains from solid retail demand for our residential zero turn mowers, as homeowners continue to transition to these more efficient cutting platforms.
“Turning to our professional businesses, contractors who also benefited from the snow season made early investments in landscape maintenance equipment, helping to drive our sales. New product features and favourable summer growing conditions provided additional momentum for the category.
“In golf, innovative new product offerings – including our new INFINITY sprinklers – helped us to expand our worldwide market-leading equipment and irrigation positions. We also continued to develop and grow our newer micro-irrigation, rental and specialty construction businesses.
“Looking ahead to fiscal 2015, we are cautiously optimistic. Our end markets are sound. Contractors will seek productivity-enhancing solutions for maintaining turf and managing snow and ice.
“Golf course renovations and development will progress in key markets. Around the world, customers will transition to more efficient methods of irrigation, particularly for agricultural use.
“Commercial and residential development and infrastructure improvements will continue, and homeowners will replace their lawn, snow and hand-held products.”