Briggs & Stratton on Thursday reported an $8.1 million loss, or 16 cents per share, for its first quarter of fiscal 2011. The results were slightly better than a year ago when the small-engine maker lost $8.7 million, or 18 cents per share.

But the 16-cent loss was 4 cents worse than expected by Thomson Reuters analysts.

Briggs had $334.1 million in sales in the recent quarter, up $9.5 million, or 2.9%, from a year ago.

The sales increase was driven by international engine shipments, Briggs said in a news release.

In the release, Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO, said the company was pleased with its first-quarter results despite continued uncertainty in the economy.

Briggs has scheduled a 9 a.m. conference call, which will be broadcast on its Web site, to discuss the quarterly results.

The company maintained its earnings outlook of $60 million to $70 million, or $1.20 to $1.40 per share, for 2011.