Blue Bird Delivers Strong Fiscal 2019 2nd Quarter Results; Profits Improve

MACON, Ga. — Blue Bird Corporation (NASDAQ: BLBD), the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, announced today its fiscal 2019 second quarter results. Compared with prior year, Blue Bird improved Adjusted EBITDA by $2.2 million, or 22 percent, in the quarter to $12.2 million, despite higher commodity costs and lower volume. Diluted EPS was slightly lower than last year, down 7 cents. Adjusted Diluted EPS was the same as last year.

“We are pleased with our second quarter performance and our continued progress in key areas of the business,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “The bus pricing we took in late fiscal 2018 to offset rapidly increasing commodity costs has taken hold as expected, resulting in a 4 percent increase in net revenue per bus in the second quarter, compared with last year. We achieved significant structural cost reductions from the Transformational Initiatives we started last year, and expect continued gains through FY2019 from the implementation of these plans. The lower volume was unfortunate with one supplier hitting us with parts shortages late in the quarter. This left us short of 182 buses in the second quarter, worth about $2 million profit, which we will now book in the third quarter. We are pleased to reaffirm our FY2019 full-year revenue guidance of $990-$1,025 million and Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $80-85 million.”

Horlock added, “We are focused on delivering differentiated and innovative products that customers want and value, as demonstrated by our continued growth in alternative-fuel bus sales. Our year-to-date bookings and firm order backlog in this segment are 24 percent above last year, representing a record 46 percent mix of our total sales and backlog. With the broadest range of alternative-fuel school bus offerings in the market, offered at the lowest emission levels, we are the clear product and sales leader in the fastest growing segment of the business.

In addition, Horlock said that, “Despite the significant capital investments that we are making this year in our all-new, robotic paint facility, we will continue to generate positive cash flow and are reaffirming our full year Adjusted Free Cash Flow guidance of $24-$28 million.”

Fiscal 2019 Second Quarter Results

Net Sales
Net sales were $211.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2019, a decrease of $5.0 million, or 2.3 percent, from prior year period. Bus unit sales were 2,271 units for the quarter compared with 2,441 units for the same period last year. The 170 unit reduction is more than explained by delayed bookings from second quarter to third quarter due to parts shortages by one supplier late in the quarter.

Gross Profit
Second quarter gross profit of $26.0 million represented an increase of $4.3 million from the second quarter of last year. Gross profit margin improved 2.3 points to 12.3 percent.

Net Loss
Net loss was $0.7 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2019, representing a decrease in profit of $2.5 million compared with the same period last year.

Adjusted Net Income
Adjusted Net Income was $3.9 million, representing a decrease of $0.7 million compared with the same period last year.

Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA was $12.2 million, representing an increase of $2.2 million compared with the second quarter last year. Bus pricing and cost reductions more than offset the impact of commodity-cost headwinds and lower volume.

Year-to-Date 2019 Results

Net Sales
Net sales were $366.6 million for the six months ended March 30, 2019, a decrease of $12.6 million, or 3.3 percent, compared with the prior year. Bus unit sales were 3,871 units for the six months ended March 30, 2019 compared with 4,146 units for the same period last year.

Gross Profit
Full year gross profit was $45.1 million, an increase of $2.7 million from the prior year.

Net Income
Net income was $1.9 million for the six months ended March 30, 2019, which was $4.1 million above the same period in the prior year.

Adjusted Net Income
Adjusted Net Income was $5.2 million, representing an increase of $0.9 million compared with the prior year.

Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA was $19.4 million for the six months ended March 30, 2019, an increase of $2.3 million from the prior year.

Conference Call Details

Blue Bird will discuss its second quarter 2019 results and other related matters in a conference call at 4:30 PM ET today. Participants may listen to the audio portion of the conference call either through a live audio webcast on the Company’s website or by telephone. The slide presentation and webcast can be accessed via the Investor Relations portion of Blue Bird’s website at www.blue-bird.com.

Webcast participants should log on and register at least 15 minutes prior to the start time on the Investor Relations homepage of Blue Bird’s website at http://investors.blue-bird.com. Click the link in the events box on the Investor Relations landing page.
Participants desiring audio only should dial 800-239-9838 or 323-794-2551
A replay of the webcast will be available approximately two hours after the call concludes via the same link on Blue Bird’s website.

About Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability.

In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. www.blue-bird.com