WINNIPEG, MB, April 15 /CNW/ - New Flyer Industries Inc. (TSX:NFI.UN)
("New Flyer" or the "Company"), the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty
transit buses in Canada and the United States, announced order activity
for the first fiscal quarter of 2011 ended April 3, 2011 ("Q1 2011") of
208 buses or 218 equivalent production units ("EUs"), with a total
value of US $93 million. This order activity comprises new firm and new
option orders of 131 buses (131 EUs) and exercised options of 77 buses
(87 EUs). The order intake level was 39% higher than during the first
fiscal quarter of 2010 ("Q1 2010"), being 218 EUs compared to 156 EUs.
Total orders received over the last four (4) quarters, at 2,814 EUs,
was 2% higher than the 2,752 EUs ordered during fiscal 2010.
These first quarter orders are from both current and new customers and
are for a variety of vehicle configurations and propulsion systems,
including 35-, 40- and 60-foot buses with clean diesel, diesel-electric
hybrid, and compressed natural gas ("CNG") propulsion systems.
Approximately 30% of the EUs in these orders are for clean-propulsion
(i.e., hybrid or CNG) vehicles.
Some of the order activity during Q1 2011 included:
The Board of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("MTA")
voted to award New Flyer a contract for 90 diesel 40' Xcelsior model
buses, and management expects to enter into a contract with MTA in due
course. The MTA operates New York City Transit, the largest transit agency in North America.
The Central Area Transportation Authority of State College, PA selected New Flyer as the successful bidder for up to 40 diesel 40'
Xcelsior model buses. CATA expects to place a firm order for 11 buses
and will retain options for a further 29 units.
Mississauga Transit, Mississauga ON converted options to firm orders for an additional 8 -
40' Xcelsior diesel buses.
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System of San Diego, CA converted an additional 26 options into firm orders
for CNG-powered 40' buses.
Sound Transit, the regional operator in the Seattle WA area, ordered an additional 10
- 60' diesel articulated buses via converted options.
The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority of Springfield, MA ordered a total of 10 hybrid-electric 40' Xcelsior
buses, from assigned options. Five of the buses will be operated in
regular urban service, and the other five will provide service in and
around the University of Massachusetts.
During Q1 2011 options to purchase 36 EUs expired compared to options
for 37 EUs expiring in Q1 2010.
Bus deliveries in Q1 2011 were 468 EUs and, as a result, new firm orders
and options received in the quarter of 131 EUs represent 28% of buses
delivered during the quarter. Management advises that order activity is
not consistent on a quarterly basis and therefore believes the ratio of
orders received to deliveries is more meaningful, compared on an annual
basis. Over the past four quarters the company has delivered 2,039 EUs
and received new orders (firm and options) totaling 2,045 EUs. The
annual ratio of new orders received to deliveries has approximated 1.0
to 1.0 for the past three quarters. In comparison, the annual ratio of
new orders received to deliveries was approximately 0.75 to 1 in the
first half of fiscal 2010.
New Flyer's large option backlog includes the widest available range of
bus models, lengths, and propulsion options for prospective customers
with varying needs. The total backlog at the end of Q1 2011 was 8,339
EUs, a decrease of 4% from the 8,712 EUs in the backlog at the end of
the fourth quarter of 2010 ended December 31, 2010 ("Q4 2010"). The
firm portion of the total backlog is 1,617 EUs, compared with 1,897 EUs
at the end of Q4 2010. The value of the order backlog at the end of Q1
2011 decreased to $3.54 billion, compared with $3.68 billion at the end
of Q4 2010. Clean propulsion vehicles represent approximately 68% of
the total backlog.
New Flyer's current backlog consists of the following mix of products:
40 foot and under buses
60 foot buses
Options included in the backlog expire, if not exercised, as follows:
At the end of Q1 2011, there were approximately 12,900 EUs in New
Flyer's new potential pipeline or bid universe for heavy-duty transit
buses, a slight increase from the approximately 12,600 EUs reported at
the end of Q4 2010. The anticipated release of a number of large
tenders from major agencies in 2011 is expected to increase the level
of bid activity.
During Q1 2011, New Flyer received its first order for ten of the used
articulated buses previously owned by the City of Ottawa. As
previously reported, New Flyer agreed to take back 226 used articulated
buses as part of an order with Ottawa for 306 new articulated buses.
All of the new buses have been shipped to the City of Ottawa and by the
end of Q1 2011 New Flyer had received 217 of the used buses. Following
extensive refurbishment at New Flyer's Arnprior, ON maintenance
facility, these ten used buses are expected to be shipped to a US
customer in the second quarter of 2011. The Company intends to report
revenue from the sale of these used buses in the results of its
aftermarket operations and accordingly, the used buses are not
reflected in the bus order backlog.
The Company's aftermarket parts order backlog has improved from a
12-month low that occurred at the beginning of Q4 2010. Aftermarket
parts orders received during Q1 2011 exceeded orders received in each
of the previous three fiscal quarters.
Funding challenges for transit agencies in the United States have been
affected by the political events that nearly led to a shutdown of the
US federal government in early April 2011. While certain types of
transit grants were eliminated or greatly reduced in the resulting
compromise budget, the main budget categories from which transit bus
procurements are funded were largely left intact at 2010 levels. At
the same time, the American Public Transportation Association ("APTA")
reported that U.S. transit bus ridership declined 1.9% in the 4th
quarter of 2010 year over year and declined 2.4% in 2010 over 2009,
indicating that the rate of decline may be slowing. During late
February and early March 2011, gasoline prices in the United States
increased and APTA has reported that transit systems are experiencing
slight increases in ridership.
NOTE: All dollar amounts are stated in US currency based on an exchange
rate of US $1.00 = Cdn. $0.96 to calculate the value of the Canadian
contracts in this release.
About New Flyer
New Flyer is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the
United States and Canada. The Company's three manufacturing facilities
-- in Winnipeg, MB, St. Cloud, MN and Crookston, MN - are all ISO 9001,
ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified.
During 2010, New Flyer's footprint expanded in three key locations.
Service centers were added in Arnprior, Ontario and in New York City as
the Company's Customer Services group worked to enhance revenue in
keeping with corporate strategic plans. In addition, New Flyer
acquired TCB Enterprises, LLC of Elkhart, IN. TCB is now operated as
an indirect subsidiary of New Flyer and is a high quality manufacturer
and supplier of transit interior lighting, stanchions, and seating.
New Flyer has recently announced its intention to open a fourth Parts
Distribution Centre in southern Ontario, Canada in the fall of 2011.
With a skilled workforce of over 2,000 employees, New Flyer is a
technology leader, offering the broadest product line in the industry,
including drive systems powered by clean diesel, LNG, CNG and electric
trolley as well as energy-efficient diesel-electric hybrid vehicles.
All products are supported with an industry-leading, comprehensive
parts and service network. The Company's income deposit securities are
traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI.UN. Further
information is available on New Flyer's web site at www.newflyer.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to
expected future events and financial and operating results of New Flyer
and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC ("NFI ULC") that involve risks and
uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in
this press release are based upon what management believes to be
reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results
will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the
differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from
management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements
for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic
conditions and economic conditions of and funding availability for
transit agencies to purchase buses, parts and services and the other
risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the
Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at
www.sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, New Flyer
and NFI ULC disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise
any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.
SOURCE New Flyer Industries Inc.
For further information:
New Flyer Industries Inc.
Chief Financial Officer