Lawn & garden equipment maker Husqvarna posted third-quarter operating profit below market forecasts and said it would prepare to reduce its fixed cost base next year as the global conomic uncertainty was set to continue.
Operating profit at the world's biggest maker of chainsaws, trimmers lawn mowers and garden tractors rose to 182 million Swedish crowns ($27.17 million) from a year-earlier 113 million and against an average forecast for 191 million in a Reuters poll.
Net sales at Husqvarna declined 8 percent company-wide in the third quarter to $6.4 million, the company state in a press release.
"Demand in our two largest markets continued to be challenging during the third quarter. In North America, sales were negatively impacted by the worst drought conditions for many years," said Hans Linnarson, president and CEO.
"In Europe, demand was adversely affected by a cautious consumer sentiment and continued unfavorable weather conditions. As expected, preseason demand for seasonal products such as snow throwers was soft."
Group operating income for the third quarter, however, increased to $113 million, with Americas reporting improved result while sales and income for Europe & Asia/Pacific declined.
Construction continued to improve, both in terms of sales and income.
Company officials say they are in intensifying preparation for 2013 by securing new product launches, enhancing customer service as well as enacting measures to improve efficiency by reducing the fixed cost base and increasing flexibility throughout the Group.
For the year, net sales increased to $25.4 million or by 1 percent.