MACON, Ga. — Blue Bird Corporation (“Blue Bird”) (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, announced today its fiscal 2021 fourth quarter and full-year results. GAAP net income for the year of $(0.3) million was $12.5 million lower than FY2020. Adjusted EBITDA for the year was $34.1 million, $20.6 million lower than last year. Supply chain disruptions resulted in more than 2,000 bookings being delayed to fiscal 2022. Order backlog is strong at more than 4,200 buses, filling production slots through the first half of FY2022.
“The results of FY2021 are characterized by a first half with soft demand and a second half fraught with supply chain disruptions when order volume recovered. However, there is clear evidence of exciting longer-term trends in demand and we are going to be ideally positioned to capture our profitable share. The unprecedented situation in the world around us has only temporarily delayed what I see as a remarkable opportunity ahead for our company and its investors,” said Matthew Stevenson, president and chief executive officer of Blue Bird Corporation. “We were encouraged by new orders of more than 9,700 buses this year as the school bus industry rebounded strongly in the second half of the year with schools reopening and fleet replacement resuming. Unfortunately, like the majority of the automotive industry, our production was limited by supply chain constraints. As such, we have built a substantial order backlog of more than 4,200 buses, comprising both our traditional internal combustion engine buses and a record level of electric buses.
“With the school-bus industry recovery well underway, we are focused on ensuring we ramp production quickly and profitably as supply chain challenges ease, likely in the spring of 2022. We have taken actions to realize manufacturing efficiency improvements while also lowering our operating expenses through cost controls. In addition, we recently increased all vehicle prices by 11% in response to the global escalation in commodity prices, while implementing a variable pricing model to mitigate future commodity price increases.
“The interest in electric buses continues to grow, with more than 550 buses sold or in our backlog in fiscal 2021. In fact, total units sold and in backlog since we began production three years ago is more than 750 electric buses, covering Type A, C and D configurations. With the growth rate we are seeing, and the breadth of chassis and powertrain choices that we offer, we are increasing our focus and resources in the EV business. We are very pleased that the recently-passed infrastructure bill will rapidly accelerate adoption of EV school buses, with $5 billion dollars of funding for clean school buses.
“As we look to FY2022, there are two primary headwinds that we are facing through the first half of the fiscal year. First, the majority of the units that were pushed from FY2021 into FY2022 were ordered prior to the price increases that were implemented through the summer in response to escalating commodity costs. Second, supplier constraints on a few key components, significantly restrict our first half build capacity. With these in mind, we are announcing FY2022 Guidance for net revenue of $750 million to $850 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $30 million to $50 million and Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $35 million to $55 million.
“As frustrating as the continuing supply chain disruptions are, they will be mitigated, and we will emerge from this challenging period with enhanced abilities to execute through our continued focus on our people and lean transformation. The intermediate and longer-term outlook for Blue Bird is very strong. We have a record backlog and a strong tailwind on EV and clean emission buses in which we are the leader. As we capture that strong secular demand opportunity with an increasingly efficient sales and manufacturing engine, we are confident that the bottom line results for investors in our company will see new heights in the years ahead.
“I am also very excited about the recently-announced, $75 million investment by Coliseum Capital Management LLC. Coliseum is very familiar with Blue Bird and recognizes the incredibly bright future ahead us. Coliseum was previously an investor from 2015 to 2017. I look forward to having Adam Gray, co-founder of Coliseum Capital Management, LLC, return to the Blue Bird board. This capital injection will help fuel the scaling of our EV production and infrastructure, ensuring we remain the leaders in the space. Also, it provides resources to accelerate our previously announced intentions to offer chassis with factory-installed electric drivetrains to other segments of the commercial vehicle market, thus expanding our total addressable market beyond school buses. These are exciting times at Blue Bird and for our investors!”
Fiscal 2021 Fourth Quarter Results
Net sales were $192.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, a decrease of $89.2 million, or 31.7%, from the prior-year period. Bus unit sales were 1,911 units for the quarter compared with 2,876 units for the same period last year.
Fourth-quarter gross profit of $13.0 million represented a decrease of $16.6 million from the fourth quarter of last year. Gross profit margin declined 3.7 points to 6.8%.
Net Income was $(2.4) million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, which was $14.3 worse than the same period last year.
Adjusted Net Income
Adjusted Net Income was $2.0 million, representing a decrease of $11.3 million compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted EBITDA was $7.6 million, which was a decrease of $14.3 million compared with the fourth quarter last year. Supply disruptions resulted in moving more than 2,000 bookings out of the fiscal year and caused substantial operating cost increases.
Full Year 2021 Results
Net sales were $684.0 million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 2, 2021, a decrease of $195.2 million, or 22.2%, compared with the prior year. Bus unit sales were 6,679 units for the fiscal year ended October 2, 2021 compared with 8,878 units for the same period last year.
Full-year gross profit was $72.1 million, a decrease of $24.1 million from the prior year.
Net Income was $(0.3) million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 2, 2021, which was $12.5 million below the prior year.
Adjusted Net Income
Year-to-date Adjusted Net Income was $8.7 million, representing a decrease of $13.5 million compared with the prior year.
Adjusted EBITDA was $34.1 million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 2, 2021, a decrease of $20.6 million from the prior year. The decrease was driven by lower volume and inefficiencies from supplier disruptions, partially offset by bus pricing and cost and efficiency improvements.
About Blue Bird Corporation
Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 585,000 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.