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Blue Bird Reports Fiscal Year 2023 First Quarter Results; Record First Quarter Revenues & EV Sales; Raises Guidance for the Year

MACON, Ga. -Blue Bird Corporation (“Blue Bird”) (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, announced today its fiscal 2023 first quarter results.

“We made remarkable progress in the first quarter, as the overall operating environment continued to improve in line with our plan. During the quarter we worked through the majority of the legacy-priced units in the backlog that have caused margin compression over the past several quarters. The Blue Bird team continued executing a rigorous plan to improve operations, reduce fixed costs, and recover economics through pricing. Therefore, we are well positioned for a significant recovery over the next several quarters,” said Matthew Stevenson, President and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Demand for Blue Bird’s best-in-class school buses remains strong and we have expanded our leadership position in zero-emission school buses, realizing exceptional growth in both electric school bus bookings, up 130%, and firm order backlog, at more than 385 electric school buses as we ended the first quarter. Our order backlog will grow considerably over the next several months as orders are placed tied to the EPA’s 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which will greatly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission student transportation across all 50 U.S. states. The EPA awarded nearly $1 billion in funding to almost 400 school districts in the first year of the Clean School Bus Rebate Program. This funding alone will generate additional orders for an estimated 500-700 Blue Bird electric buses translating into a minimum of $200 million of additional revenue.”

FY2023 Guidance Increased:

“We are very excited with the FY2023-Q1 results, above our guidance for both Revenues and EBITDA,” said Razvan Radulescu, CFO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Our turnaround is working and we expect to return to historical profitability during FY23, with increasing levels of revenues and performance each quarter, as shown in the forecast shared during the earnings call. We are raising full year fiscal 2023 guidance to Net Revenue of just over $1 Billion, Adj. EBITDA of $40-46 million and Adj. Free Cash Flow of $5-11 million. Additionally, we are reconfirming our long-term outlook of profitable growth towards $2 billion in revenues and Adjusted EBITDA margins of 12%, or $250 million.”

Fiscal 2023 First Quarter Results:

Net Sales-
Net sales were $235.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, an increase of $106.5 million, or 82.4%, from prior year period. Bus sales increased $100.8 million, reflecting a 11.4% increase in average sales price per unit, resulting from pricing actions taken by management to partially offset increases in inventory purchase costs as well as product and customer mix change, and a 70.3% increase in units booked. In the first quarter of fiscal 2023, 1,957 units were booked compared to 1,149 units booked for the same period in fiscal 2022. Additionally, Parts sales increased $5.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2022. This increase is primarily attributed to pricing actions taken by management to offset increases in purchased parts costs and increased inventory availability as supply chain constraints continued to improve during the first quarter of FY2023 relative to the first quarter of FY2022.

Gross Profit-
First quarter gross profit of $7.5 million represented a decrease of $8.7 million from the first quarter of last year. The decrease was primarily driven by only partial price increases on old backlog units, which were more than offset by increases in manufacturing costs attributable to a) increased raw materials costs resulting from ongoing inflationary pressures and b) ongoing supply chain disruptions that resulted in higher purchase costs for components and freight.

Net Loss-
Net loss was $11.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, which was a $7.2 million increase compared to the same period last year. The increase in net loss was primarily driven by the $8.7 million decrease in gross profit, discussed above. Partially offsetting this was a decrease of $1.4 million in SG&A, largely due to several cost cutting and operational transformation initiatives.

Adjusted Net Loss-
Adjusted Net Loss was $9.8 million, representing an increase of $7.8 million compared with the same period last year. This is primarily due to the $7.2 million increase in net loss, discussed above.

Adjusted EBITDA-
Adjusted EBITDA was $(4.2) million, which was a decrease of $7.8 million compared with the first quarter last year. This decrease primarily results from the $7.2 million increase in net loss, discussed above.

Conference Call Details-
Blue Bird will discuss its first quarter 2023 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.

About Blue Bird Corporation:
Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) 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.

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