Shyft Group swings back to profit despite lower sales

NOVI—The specialty vehicle manufacturer Shyft Group Inc. announced net income of $7.6 million or 21 cents a share in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $27.8 million or 78 cents a share in the same quarter of 2019. Revenue was $171.6 million, down from $180 million a year earlier.

The loss a year ago was caused by a $42 million loss from discontinued operations. The company divested its emergency response business effective Feb. 1, 2020.

For the full year, net income was $32.8 million or 91 cents a share, compared to a loss of #12.6 million or 36 cents a share in 2019. Revenue was $676 million, down from $756.5 million a year earlier. The company said sales for 2019 include $91.4 million of pass-through revenues from a one-time truck body order from the U.S. Postal Service. Excluding the USPS order, sales rose $10.9 million or 1.6 percent. The company also noted a gross margin of 21.6 percent of sales in 2020, up from 15.5 percent in 2019, as the company focused on higher-margin products.

The company also posted income from continuing operations of $38.3 million or $1.05 a share, up from $36.8 million or $1.03 a share a year earlier. For the fourth quarter, income from continuing operations was $8.3 million, or 22 cents a share, down from $14.3 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier.

The company’s order backlog as of Dec. 31 was $478.4 million, up 42 percent from $336.6 million a year earlier.

By all accounts, 2020 proved to be a historic and transformative year for The Shyft Group, as we strategically aligned our product portfolio to take advantage of more profitable growth markets after the sale of the ER business,” said Daryl Adams, president and CEO. “I am incredibly proud and appreciative of the tremendous efforts of our entire team. Throughout 2020, we rose to the challenge to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related plant disruptions to meet customer demand, while ending the year with nearly $500 million in backlog. We emerge from 2020 in a stronger position, well equipped to drive growth in each of our businesses for years to come.”

Sales in the fleet vehicles and services segment fell 14.8 percent to $490.5 million during the year. In the specialty vehicles segment, sales were $185.5 million, down slightly from last year’s $185.9 million.

The company said it expects full-year 2021 revenue of $850 million to $900 million, and net income of $51 million to $58 million, or $1.42 to $1.62 a share.

To listen to a replay of a conference call discussing these results, visit  www.theshyftgroup.com/webcasts.

Shyft Group brands include Utilimaster, Royal Truck Body, DuraMag, Magnum, Strobes-R-Us, Spartan RV Chassis, and Builtmore Contract Manufacturing. The company has about 3,000 employees in plants and offices in Michigan, Indiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, California, Arizona, Texas, and Saltillo, Mexico.

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