March 28, 2014 / 11:32 AM / 4 years ago

Ski-Doo maker BRP warns weak Russian demand to hurt profit

(Reuters) - Ski-Doo snowmobile maker BRP Inc (DOO.TO) forecast a full-year profit below analysts’ estimates, saying uncertainty in Russia and the weakening of the ruble would hurt demand in its third-largest market.

BRP’s shares fell as much as 13 percent, making the stock one of the biggest percentage losers on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday, after the Canadian company also reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit.

The company, which was spun off from Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) in 2003, said it expected sales volumes in Russia to fall by a fifth in the year ending January 31, 2015.

Weaker demand in Russia is expected to hurt full-year profit by 10 Canadian cents per share, BRP said.

Eastern Europe accounted for about 7 percent of the company’s revenue of C$3.19 billion ($2.88 billion) in the year ended January 31.

“Russia is a key market for us, and the significant decline in the ruble ... most certainly puts pressure on profitability and the demand in that market,” Chief Executive Jose Boisjoli said on a conference call with analysts.

The Canadian dollar has risen 4 percent against the Russian ruble this year.

“Because of the devaluation, BRP products have become much more expensive,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Chris Bowes said.

BRP, whose rivals include Arctic Cat Inc ACAT.O, Polaris Industries Inc (PII.N) and Yamaha Motor Co Ltd (7272.T), forecast full-year adjusted profit of C$1.55-C$1.65 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting C$1.69 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company warned that its earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization could halve in the first quarter ending April 30 due to delays in deliveries of its summer vehicles such as Sea-Doo watercraft.

BRP said quarterly results would also be hurt by the transfer of its distribution business to a third party and delayed deliveries of its watercraft, as its Mexico factory struggles to boost output.

    The company, which also makes Can-Am all-terrain vehicles and Rotax engines, said it expected revenue to fall by 5-10 percent in the first quarter.

    BRP reported a net loss of C$6.3 million for the fourth quarter ended January 31 compared with a profit of C$35.8 million a year earlier.

    Revenue rose 14 percent to C$902.9 million.

    The Valcourt, Quebec-based company’s adjusted profit was 41 Canadian cents per share, below the average analyst estimate of 45 Canadian cents per share.

    BRP’s shares were down 10.4 percent at C$28.56 in afternoon trading.

    ($1 = 1.11 Canadian dollars)

    Writing by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Savio D'Souza

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