Bloomington, Minnesota, United States: The Toro Company has reported net earnings of US$267.7 million, or US$2.41 per share, on a net sales increase of 4.7 per cent to US$2.505 billion for its fiscal year ended October 31, 2017.
In fiscal 2016, the company delivered net earnings of US$231 million, or US$2.06 per share for the year, on net sales of US$2.392 billion.
For the fourth quarter, Toro reported net earnings of US$33.8 million or US$0.31 per share, on a net sales increase of 4.3 per cent to US$488.6 million. In the comparable 2016 period, the company posted net earnings of US$30.2 million on net sales of US$468.4 million.
The company also announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of US$0.20 per share, a 14.3 per cent increase from its previous quarterly dividend rate of US$0.175 per share.
For the fiscal year, the company returned nearly US$236 million to shareholders through the payment of approximately US$75.8 million in dividends and the repurchase of approximately 2.7 million shares of common stock.
“Fiscal 2017 was another record year for The Toro Company. We experienced solid sales growth fuelled by new and innovative product offerings across our businesses,” said Richard M. Olson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Toro, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“Strong performance in our golf, landscape contractor and rental businesses continued with the success of new products such as the Exmark Radius zero-turn riding mowers, the Greensmaster series of greens mowers and the Dingo TX 1000 compact utility loader.
“We continue to gain momentum in those markets and we are encouraged by retail trends. Our BOSS snow and ice management business also had a strong year driven by the continued success of the EXT extendable plows and the V-Box spreaders, which elevate performance and enhance productivity.
“Sales in our international business were up 5.6 per cent for the year driven by our Australia-based Pope residential product offerings and by the newly acquired Perrot line of professional irrigation products.
“We are pleased with the integration of Perrot and we are optimistic about the growth opportunity for that business as we expand distribution more broadly. Balanced performance across our professional turf product categories also bolstered international sales.
“For the fourth quarter, our residential business generated solid growth with sales up 3.2 per cent, driven in part by the success of our Pope line and increased shipments of zero-turn riding mowers. Turning to our snow business, field inventory levels are in good shape and we are well prepared to address customers’ needs in the winter months ahead.
“Fiscal 2017 marks the end of our three-year Destination PRIME initiative. I am proud of our team’s accomplishments. We achieved record revenue, exceeded profitability goals and made significant progress on improving working capital.
“With the launch of our new initiative, Vision 2020, we will once again focus on driving profitable growth with an emphasis on innovation and serving our customers, which will generate further momentum for the organisation. It is the collective efforts of our employees that make these initiatives a success. I look forward to working together as we kick-off the next chapter.”
For fiscal 2018, the company expects revenue growth to exceed four per cent, and net earnings to be about US$2.57 to US$2.63 per share. For the first quarter, the company expects net earnings to be about US$0.42 to US$0.44 per share.