MACON, Ga. – Blue Bird Corporation (“Blue Bird”) (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, announced today its fiscal 2021 third quarter results. GAAP net income for the quarter of $4.3 million was $3.0 better than the same FY2020 fiscal period. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $13.2 million, $0.7 million above last year. Supply chain disruptions resulted in approximately 550 fewer bookings than planned in the period. Order backlog is strong at more than 4,000 buses, filling all remaining production slots for FY2021 and now filling production slots in FY2022.
“The third quarter result for Blue Bird was impacted by numerous supply-chain disruptions,” said Phil Horlock, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Bird Corporation. “Despite these temporary disruptions, new order rates were well ahead of where we anticipated as the school bus industry is rebounding strongly, and we have built a substantial order backlog of more than 4,000 buses, comprising of both our traditional internal combustion engine buses and electric buses. The Blue Bird team managed through the supply issues well and we increased our gross margin by 2.2 pts. compared with last year, with improved performance in both bus and parts.
“With the school-bus industry recovery well underway since the beginning of the second half of our fiscal year, I am really encouraged by our progress in improving our underlying business structure, which is key to achieving our near-term EBITDA margin target of at least 10%. We realized manufacturing efficiency improvements, despite the supplier disruptions we experienced; we benefited from lower operating expenses as a result of cost control actions that we implemented last year; and we recently increased all vehicle prices by 5% in response to the global escalation in commodity prices. Our alternative-powered bus sales mix was a record 56% in the quarter, a full 10 pts. above last year. We expect our full-year alternative power sales mix to exceed 50% of total sales, supported by a very strong order backlog for our new and class-leading 7.3L V8 engine, and we are the clear leader in North American market share in both electric and propane-powered school buses, at around 70%.
“The interest in electric buses is unprecedented and our order backlog is now over 380 electric buses. In fact, our total sold units and order backlog since we began production just three years ago, is now 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 previously announced our intention to offer Blue Bird chassis with factory-installed electric drivetrains to commercial vehicle manufacturers and are in early discussions with a number of commercial-vehicle customers. With the new Administration’s focus on accelerating the adoption of electric-powered school buses in the U.S. over the next 8-10 years, these are exciting times at Blue Bird!
“With our business structure and margin improvements, we are well positioned to take full advantage of market demand when supply of components returns to a more normal level. In fact, had we not been impacted by these unprecedented parts shortages, our third quarter EBITDA margin would have been 11%. In view of the impact of these temporary supplier disruptions, we are revising guidance for FY2021 to net revenue of $730 – $780, Adj. EBITDA between $37 – $43 and Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $(30) – $(10).”
Fiscal 2021 Third Quarter Results: Net sales were $196.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2021, an increase of $7.5 million, or 4.0%, from prior year period. Bus unit sales were 2,024 units for the quarter compared with 1,948 units for the same period last year. Third quarter gross profit of $26.2 million represented an increase of $5.1 million from the third quarter of last year. The increase was primarily driven by higher parts volume and net favorable efficiencies. Gross profit margin improved 2.2 points to 13.3%. Net income was $4.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2021, which was $3.0 better than the same period last year. Adjusted Net Income was $5.2 million, representing an increase of $0.9 million compared with the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $13.2 million, which was an increase of $0.7 million compared with the third quarter last year. Supply disruptions resulted in moving 550 bookings out of the third quarter and caused substantial operating cost increases.
Year-to-Date 2021 Results: Net sales were $491.8 million for the nine months ended July 3, 2021, a decrease of $106.0 million, or 17.7%, compared with the prior year. Bus unit sales were 4,768 units for the nine months ended July 3, 2021 compared with 6,002 units for the same period last year. Full year gross profit was $59.1 million, a decrease of $7.4 million from the prior year. Net Income was $2.1 million for the nine months ended July 3, 2021, which was $1.9 million above the prior year. Year-to-date Adjusted Net Income was $6.6 million, representing a decrease of $2.2 million compared with the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA was $26.5 million for the nine months ended July 3, 2021, a decrease of $6.3 million from the prior year. The decrease was driven by lower volume, partially offset by bus pricing and cost and efficiency improvements.
Conference Call Details
Blue Bird will discuss its third quarter and full year 2021 results 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 1-800-945-0427 or 1-312-281-1210
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 570,000 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. For more information visit https://www.blue-bird.com/