Blue Bird Corporation, the independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, announced a net loss of $1.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, ending 2 January 2021, compared to a net loss of $403,000 reported for Q1 2020.

The Macon, Georgia-based company announced its net sales for the first quarter were $130.4 million, down from $153.2 million reported for Q1 2020.

Blue Bird Corporation president and chief executive Phil Horlock said: “We are very pleased with our first quarter performance and results. The Blue Bird team executed well, despite the challenging environment caused by the pandemic which has resulted in many schools operating in a virtual or hybrid mode. We remain focused on improving our operational performance during this period, however – our confidence is increasing that schools will accelerate reopening for in-classroom teaching as we head toward the next school year.

“While working through these challenges, I am encouraged with our progress in improving our underlying business structure that is key to achieving our near-term EBITDA margin target of at least 10%. We increased our first-quarter average selling price per bus by $1,600, or 2%, over last year. The move to a single shift production schedule late in the third quarter of 2020 drove efficiency and quality improvements through the first quarter and we are making changes in our plant, so that by spring of 2021 we will have the same daily capacity on one shift that we previously had on two shifts.

“We grew our alternative-powered bus sales mix again in the first quarter, achieving a record 46% mix of total unit sales compared with 39% last year. The interest in electric buses is unprecedented and our fiscal 2021 bookings and order backlog has grown 24% over prior year.”

Date published: 11 February 2021

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