Sweden outdoor appliances maker Husqvarna said it would focus on cost cuts and stuck to its drive to boost margins after posting a bigger than expected loss for the fourth quarter in the face of strong currency headwinds.
Husqvarna, which competes with the likes of Stanley Black & Decker, Deere and Toro, is in the midst of a drive to improve its operating margin to 10% in 2016 from around 5% in 2013.
Husqvarna reported an operating loss of 230 million Swedish crowns ($27.92 million) excluding one-offs in its seasonally weak fourth quarter versus a loss of 211 million seen in a Reuters poll and a year-ago loss of 308 million.
The improvement came mainly from its Americas division where Husqvarna cut the loss to 43 million crowns from 146 a year ago, helped by lower material costs and better productivity.
The fourth quarter is Husqvarna's weakest and accounts for only roughly 15% of annual sales for the world's biggest maker of outdoor power tools such as lawn mowers and trimmers.
"For now, we remain in the margin recovery mode, prioritizing margin before sales growth," CEO Kai Warn said in a statement.
Husqvarna proposed a dividend of 1.65 per share versus average expectations of 1.53 crowns in Reuters poll. ($1 = 8.2389 Swedish crowns)