Toro sees big rise in fourth-quarter earnings

Outdoor equipment-maker Toro reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $6.5 million, up 44.5 percent from 4.5 million in the same period last year.

The company reported net sales of $332.5 million, a 0.9 percent increase from sales of $329.5 million last year.

For the full year, earnings were $142.4 million, up 10.3 percent from 2006 earnings of $129.1 million. Net sales for the fiscal year were $1.87 billion, up 2.2 percent from last year’s sales of $1.83 billion.

"In challenging market conditions, our performance in fiscal 2007 highlights the strength and resiliency of our company," said Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO. “We believe these results indicate that Toro has outperformed in a soft market."

The company attributed growth in its international professional segment sales, which helped offset softness in the residential segment in the United States. International net sales increased 9.6 percent over 2006.

Toro is a worldwide manufacturer of outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.