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Polaris sells more, again

16 April 2004 Immediate release

Polaris sells more, again

Polaris continues to grow in popularity, with sales up yet again as the brand began celebrating its 50th anniversary.

All Polaris products reported higher sales for the first quarter of 2004, for a combined rise of 10 percent in sales and 15 percent net in income.

It's the 24th straight quarter the US giant has increased sales.

The strength of the company remains its ATV all terrain vehicles, for which it is best-known in New Zealand. ATVs make up approximately two-thirds of Polaris' total sales, or nearly US$1 billion annually.

Continued strong growth in the RANGER product line of utility vehicles, growing demand for the new Sportsman 700 EFI (electronic fuel injection) ATV, the first EFI in the industry, and strong international sales growth were the primary contributors, Polaris reported.

Personal watercraft (PWC) sales increased 46 percent compared with the same period in 2003, thanks partly to the new four-stroke MSX 150.

Snowmobile sales were up 64 percent.

"All of our businesses experienced sales growth during the first quarter 2004," commented Tom Tiller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris. "We expect balanced growth across the company in 2004, and the first quarter results support that belief.

"I am pleased with our start in 2004 and look forward to another record year in this, the company's 50th year of operation."

Polaris Industries, listed on the New York Stock Exchange and noted as a Fortune 500 company, reported total sales for the first quarter up 10 percent to $346 million, compared with $313.9 million in the same period of 2003. Net income was up 15 percent to $14.3 million.

Mr Tiller predicts sales growth for 2004 to be five to eight percent over 2003, as the company kicked off celebrations to mark its half-century.

Polaris continues to invest heavily in developing new products. Research and development spending increased 28 percent for the quarter as the company concentrates on reducing the lead time for design, development and introduction of new Polaris models.

The ATP 330 All Terrain Pickup recently won the ATV of the Year award, giving Polaris models the accolade three years in a row. And the latest MSX model has been named Watercraft of the Year.

Polaris has dealers the length of New Zealand, part of a worldwide network covering 126 countries with more than 50 distributors and five subsidiaries. Polaris Sales Australia & New Zealand is a fully-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries, which totally designs, engineers, manufactures and markets its own machines.

ENDS

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