Toro nets record income for fiscal 2001, will close Riverside, Calif. Plant

The Toro Company reports record sales and profitability for fiscal 2001, beating analyst expectations for the year. Net income for fiscal 2001 increased 11.4 percent to $50.4 million, compared to $45.3 million in fiscal 2000. Net sales for the period were $1.353 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent over fiscal 2000 sales of $1.339 billion.

Toro's professional segment sales decreased slightly for the year while its operating earnings before interest and taxes increased 7.2 percent to $106.6 million. Sales of mowing equipment to the landscape contractor market continued to be robust during the year for both Toro and Exmark brands. Equipment sales to the golf market slowed throughout the year, but Toro maintained its market share. Irrigation sales to golf courses and contractor installers were down reflecting the economy and the weather. Sales of Toro Sitework Systems were down due to a change to one-step distribution during the selling period. In related news, Toro has announced that it will sell its Riverside, Calif., headquarters and plant and move manufacturing operations to its facility in El Paso, Tex., and office operations to a leased facility to be established in the Riverside area. The move is part of an overall strategy to reduce production costs and improve asset utilization, insuring long-term competitiveness and leadership in irrigation markets. About 145 salaried and 25 hourly employees will remain in Riverside after the shift. As a result of the plant closing and associated restructuring, approximately 440 jobs will be eliminated. The move is expected to cost between $6.4 million and $6.9 million in fiscal 2002 and provide annual savings beginning in fiscal 2003 of between $7.0 million and $7.5 million.

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