After Pandemic Loss, Polaris Reports Nearly $2B in Sales in Q1

After Pandemic Loss, Polaris Reports Nearly $2B in Sales in Q1

A jump in retail sales boosted the company’s bottom line.

After taking on a multimillion-dollar loss a year ago due to pandemic-induced shutdowns, Polaris Inc. appears to be back on the upswing.

On Tuesday, the Medina-based manufacturer reported sales of $1.95 billion in its first quarter, which ended March 31. That marked a 39 percent increase over the same quarter in 2020, when the company logged $1.405 billion in sales.

The company also reported net income of $134.1 million in the first quarter of 2021. A year ago, Polaris took on a net loss of $5.4 million in the first quarter.

Increased retail demand played a big part in Polaris’ recovery: North American retail sales jumped 70 percent in the first quarter of the year. “Retail demand and industry tailwinds continued to be strong during the quarter driving higher company performance as both new and existing customer growth accelerated across all segments and regions of the company,” Polaris officials said in a news release.

In a webinar with investors on Tuesday morning, Polaris leaders said that the company’s retail performance has continued at “unprecedented levels.”

What have customers been buying so far this year? Off-road vehicles and snowmobiles were some of the biggest revenue generators for Polaris, collectively pulling in more than $1.3 billion in the first quarter. But Polaris reported improved sales across all business segments, including motorcycles and boats.

“Despite pandemic-related supply chain constraints, logistical challenges, and North American weather-related disruptions, sales across our business grew double-digits as we leveraged our capabilities and scale as the industry leader in powersports to deliver for our customers and dealers,” interim CEO Mike Speetzen said in the release.

Polaris has also upgraded its earnings and sales outlook for the remainder of 2021. For the full year, the company expects total sales to increase between 18 percent and 21 percent. During the pandemic, several publicly traded companies stopped providing outlooks altogether.

But it may not be entirely smooth sailing for Polaris. In Tuesday’s webinar, officials said that dealer inventory “remains below optimal levels.” And like many other companies with global operations, Polaris faces continued supply chain challenges. That’s partially a result of logistics issues involved with ocean shipping, alongside Covid-related employee absenteeism, the company said.