School bus manufacturer Blue Bird posted $990.6 million in net sales revenue for its fourth quarter and fiscal year highlights, which company top brass said positions the company for profit growth in fiscal year 2018.
The company, which is based in Fort Valley, Georgia, sold a total of 11,317 buses (increase of 7 percent over FY 2016) and 3,608 buses for the quarter (9 percent and $313 million net sales increase over the same period last year).
It also reported a full-year income of $28.8 million from continuing operations, which was a $21.5 million or over 295-percent spike from last year.
Blue Bird provided FY 2018 guidance of “modest” net sales growth between 1- and 2 percent, or totals between $1 billion and $1.03 billion. It also projected school bus industry sales at the same level as FY 2017, or slightly higher while internally focusing on transforming its business structure to drive margin improvement.
President and CEO Phil Horlock explained that this improvement could come from implementing “significant investment” in production facilities, greater efficiencies, quality assurance, as well as partnering with industry leaders to drive down costs in all areas of business.
Blue Bird added that it is working on “substantial new product upgrades, providing enhanced customer satisfaction and industry.” The company has already unveiled in 2017 its first Type C zero-emissions and all-electric school bus in July as well as the new Micro Bird G5 Electric Type A school bus.
The company also sold a total of 3,488 alternative fuel school buses, which included the newly launched CNG Type C Vision in addition to the Type C Vision Propane and the Type D All America CNG.
Blue Bird said over 500 customers made their first purchase of a specific alternative fuel this year.
Meanwhile, it said the Type C Vision Gasoline “quickly gained market acceptance in first full year of sales.”