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Blue Bird Reports Fiscal 2022 First Quarter Results; Impacted by Supply Chain Disruptions, Inflationary Pressures

Net Sales of $129.2M and GAAP Net Loss of $4.1M; Firm Order Backlog of Record 4,800+ units; Electric Type C & D Bus Backlog at 280+ units; Adjusted EBITDA of $3.6M with 1,149 Buses Sold

MACON, Ga. — Blue Bird Corporation (BLBD) (“Blue Bird”), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, announced today its fiscal 2022 first-quarter results. GAAP net loss for the quarter of $4.1 million was $2.5 million higher than the same FY2021 fiscal period. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $3.6 million, down $2.2 million from last year. Order backlog remains strong at a record 4,800 buses, worth approximately $500 million, which fills a large portion of FY2022 production.

Blue Bird faced a challenging first quarter marked by supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. Primarily driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the company continued to be negatively impacted by rising raw material, freight and labor costs, as well as the worldwide microchip shortage. Blue Bird has also onboarded a second source supplier for one of the critical components that has been impacting production. In addition, Blue Bird brought its pricing in line with expected cost increases. The company announced a 4% price increase for new orders effective March 1st, on top of a total 11% price increase announced through the summer of 202

As an employee-centric organization, Blue Bird continued to invest in its workforce and workplace upgrades to further improve safety, quality, cost and delivery. Blue Bird also advanced its Lean Transformation to implement a world class-operating system that improves efficiency, quality and production capacity while reducing costs.

The transformation enables Blue Bird to capitalize on significant growth opportunities tied to chassis building and the electrification of school buses.

“We are expanding our chassis business to motorhomes and electrified, last-mile delivery vehicles,” said Matthew Stevenson, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “With a market size of more than 30,000 units, we will effectively double our addressable market. Based on our world-class engineering capabilities and nearly 95 years of experience in bus chassis building, Blue Bird is uniquely qualified to serve these markets.

“Blue Bird also remains committed to further grow its share of emission-free electric activity and school buses in North America. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill allocates $5B in funding for electric and low-emission school buses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to start implementing the program by the end of March. Blue Bird anticipates orders to follow in 2H 2022.”

Added Stevenson: “Blue Bird is the proven technology leader for zero-emission electric activity and school buses. We anticipate scaling up our electric vehicle production capacity to 4,000 vehicles a year by 2024 to meet demand. Blue Bird continues to transform the transportation industry.”

2022 Guidance Confirmed

“We are expecting a challenging 1H for fiscal 2022 due to continued supply constraints and margin pressure, with the majority of the supplier cost increases taking effect on January 1, 2022,” said Razvan Radulescu, CFO of Blue Bird Corporation. “We still expect to see gradual relief beginning in fiscal Q3 as supply chain constraints are resolved due to new suppliers coming on board, and orders with the 11% price increase begin to be delivered. In Fiscal Q4 we expect to be at higher production levels and with normalized margins as the full 11% price increase goes into effect. Therefore, we are maintaining our guidance for fiscal 2022, previously released during our fiscal 2021 year-end call.”

Fiscal 2022 First Quarter Results

Net Sales

Net sales were $129.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, a decrease of $1.2 million, or 0.9%, from prior-year period. Bus unit sales were 1,149 units for the quarter compared with 1,255 units for the same period last year. The $5.4 million decrease in bus segment sales was partially offset by an increase of $4.2 million in parts segment sales, driven by increased demand, as more busses are in operation as more schools have opened back up to in-person learning, and by pricing actions taken by management to offset increases in purchased part costs.

Gross Profit

First-quarter gross profit of $16.2 million represented an increase of $1.7 million from the first quarter of last year. The increase was primarily driven by higher parts segment sales volume and pricing actions taken by management to offset increases in purchased part costs. Gross profit margin improved 1.4 points to 12.5%.

Net Loss

Net loss was $4.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which was $2.5 million higher than the same period last year. The increase was primarily driven by an increase of $3.5 million in SG&A, which was largely a result of share-based compensation expense as a result of the accelerated vesting of all outstanding stock awards for two of the Company’s former executives, merit increases for all employees, and reversal of COVID-19 related extraordinary actions taken in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 to reduce labor costs. This increase in SG&A was partially offset by a $1.2 million increase in income tax benefit.

Adjusted Net Income

Adjusted Net Income was $(2.0) million, representing a decrease of $2.1 million compared with the same period last year. This decrease is primarily due to the $2.5 million increase in net loss. This was partially offset by a $0.7 million increase in share-based compensation.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA was $3.6 million, which was a decrease of $2.2 million compared with the first quarter last year. This decrease is primarily due to the $2.5 million increase in net loss.

About Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird is recognized as a technology leader and innovator of school buses since its founding in 1927. Our dedicated team members design, engineer and manufacture school buses with a singular focus on safety, reliability, and durability. Blue Bird buses carry the most precious cargo in the world – the majority of 25 million children twice a day – making us the most trusted brand in the industry. The company is the proven leader in low- and zero-emission school buses with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric-powered buses in operation today. Blue Bird is transforming the student transportation industry through cleaner energy solutions. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete product and service portfolio, visit www.blue-bird.com. For Blue Bird’s line of emission-free electric buses, visit www.bluebirdelectricbus.com.

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