Staycationers Boost BRP Sales During COVID Despite Factory Shutdowns


2020 has been a helluva year – and in more ways that one. For those affected by the COVID outbreak, many with the expendable income found new pleasure in owning a personal watercraft – particularly as amusement parks, concerts, restaurants and other vacation outlets were closed. This boon in PWC sales helped dramatically bolster Sea-Doo maker BRP Inc., particularly in light of several weeks of factory shutdowns.

In a recent report by Yahoo! Finance, BRP Inc.’s net income rose 35-percent, fueled by a 40-percent boost in North American sales of powersports vehicles. Earnings per share of $1.14 were seven times higher than analysts predicted – all of this in spite of production shutdowns (throughout April and May), which depleted inventory and slowed revenues in its second quarter – a revenue decline of 16-percent.

“We’re down almost $1 billion in terms of inventory in the network … It’s quite sizable,” chief financial officer Sebastien Martel said on a conference call with investors. “CEO Jose Boisjoli views the drastic decline in business for competing industries — cruises, airlines and amusement parks — as a boon to BRP,” states the article.

“A lot of people realized in May and June that they had not many options for going on vacation anywhere, and a lot of people turned around and decided to try powersports,” Boisjoli was quoted. “Cruising on ATVs or Sea-Doos respects physical distancing and allows friends and family to share a social activity, making it perfect for the COVID-19 era,” Boisjoli continued.

What is most interesting is that more than three-quarters of powersport vehicle purchases came from first-time BRP buyers, reported Yahoo!; “more than half of whom were new to the products, regardless of brand, the company said.”

But it’s not all rosy for BRP; despite extraordinary demand – particularly throughout June and July –  BRP was forced to lay off about 1,000 employees and slashed others’ hours as factories ground to a halt. This and the decreased inventory places BRP’s expected revenue down between five and nine percent for the year.

The report concludes, “The company earned $126.1 million or $1.43 per share in net income for the quarter ended July 31, up from $93.3 million or 96 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Revenue totalled $1.23 billion, down from $1.46 billion in the same quarter a year ago, the company said.”

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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