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Polaris Reports Record First Quarter 2015 Results - motorcycle sales up 74%

Sales increased 16% to $1,033.3 million, setting a new record for the first quarter.

North American retail sales increased 8% in the first quarter.

MINNEAPOLIS (April 23, 2015) — Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today reported record first quarter net income of $88.6 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, an increase of nine percent from the 2014 first quarter net income of $80.9 million, or $1.19 per diluted share. Sales for the first quarter 2015 totaled $1,033.3 million, which represents an increase of 16 percent from last year’s first quarter sales of $888.3 million.

“I am pleased to report record sales and earnings for our 2015 first quarter, with sales up 16 percent, operating income up 19 percent and net income up nine percent, our 22nd consecutive quarter of record earnings performance,” commented Scott Wine, Polaris’ chairman and chief executive officer.  “We outperformed the market again in most of our businesses in spite of increased competitive promotional pressures, weakening global markets and the corresponding negative effect from currencies.  While we are justifiably proud of these accomplishments, we remain focused on seizing the numerous opportunities we missed to perform better.  From factory inventory being too high to ongoing production inefficiencies, particularly in motorcycles, we did not perform to our capabilities or our expectations. 

However, we are making great strides towards addressing these issues, and I am confident those efforts will allow us to continue outperforming our markets.” Wine continued, “My confidence comes first and foremost from the skill and passion of Polaris’ 8,000 team members.  Our team has never been stronger or deeper, demonstrated by the recent internal promotions of Chris Wolf and Craig Scanlon, both 10+ year Polaris veterans, to run our Snowmobile and Slingshot® businesses, respectively, following Mike Jonikas’s retirement.  Second, product innovation remains a significant growth driver.  During the quarter, we added to our stable of innovative motorcycles with the introduction of the Indian Chief Dark Horse®, the Victory Magnum X-1®, and a limited edition Slingshot SL.  Additionally, we unveiled seven new mountain snowmobiles incorporating our award winning Axys® chassis, making the best mountain sled, the Polaris RMK®, even better. And we expanded our manufacturing footprint to China, while extending the breadth and reach of our ORV business, with the acquisition of Hammerhead Off-Road®, which produces light gas and electric utility vehicles and gasoline powered go-karts.”

Wine concluded, “We suspected 2015 would have its share of challenges and the first quarter confirmed our suspicions.  Nevertheless, we continue to see another year of solid growth and market share gains, which gives us confidence in achieving our sales and earnings guidance for the full year.”

Motorcycle sales increased 74 percent in the 2015 first quarter to $137.4 million. All three brands, Victory, Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot, increased sales in the first quarter. Consumer retail demand for Victory and Indian Motorcycles during the 2015 first quarter, was up nearly 40 percent over last year’s first quarter, driven primarily by strong Indian Motorcycle retail sales, while first quarterNorth American industry heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle retail sales were up low-single digits percent from 2014. Slingshot retail sales were ahead of expectations. All three brands added to their product portfolios during the quarter with Indian Motorcycle introducing the Indian Chief Dark Horse, which is built upon the successful and award-winning Indian Chief® platform with only a flash of chrome and a heavy dose of matte black paint; Victory showcased the new Magnum X-1, a new bagger with a 200-watt, 10 speaker audio system and custom factory paint; and Slingshot adding a limited edition model packed with head-turning features, including striking Nuclear Sunset Orange coloring, dual windscreens and an interior LED lighting package. Sales of Polaris motorcycles outside of North America decreased 12 percent in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to a year ago due to the currency impact of a strengthening U.S. dollar.

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