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New Flyer Announces First Quarter 2017 Orders and Backlog

WINNIPEG , April 13, 2017 /CNW/ - (NFI.TO) (NFI-DBU.TO) New Flyer Industries Inc. (the "Company"), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America , announced its order activity and backlog update for the 13-week period ended April 2, 2017 ("Q1 2017").

The order and delivery activity and backlog for Q1 2017 reported in this release includes activity for heavy-duty transit buses manufactured by the Company's subsidiaries, New Flyer Industries Canada ULC and New Flyer of America Inc. (together, "New Flyer"), and motor coaches manufactured by its subsidiaries, Motor Coach Industries Limited and Motor Coach Industries,  Inc. (together, "MCI").

The order and delivery activity and backlog as reported excludes pre-owned motor coaches.  Year-over-year comparisons reported in this release, compare Q1 2017 to the 14-week period ended April 3, 2016 ("Q1 2016").  Q1 2016 was the first full fiscal quarter that included both New Flyer and MCI activity.

Deliveries, Order Activity, and Option Expiry

The Company delivered 892 equivalent units ("EUs") in Q1 2017, an increase of 63 EUs compared to 829 EUs delivered in Q1 2016.  The Q1 2017 deliveries decreased 101 EUs compared to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016 ("Q4 2016"), primarily as a result of the seasonality of private market coach deliveries. Total bus and coach inventory at April 2, 2017 was 547 EUs, an increase of 52 EUs from the previous quarter.

The Company's new transit bus and coach orders (firm and options) in Q1 2017 totaled 708 EUs.  Order activity in the period included:

  • New firm orders for 534 EUs (valued at $267.2 million )
  • New option orders for 174 EUs (valued at $68.7 million )
  • 218 EUs of Options were converted to firm orders (valued at $99.9 million )



New Orders
in Quarter
(Firm and Option EUs)

LTM New Orders
(Firm and Option EUs)

Option EUs Converted
in Quarter

Option EUs Converted
LTM

Q1 2016

1,059

3,968

582

1,764

Q2 2016

1,428

4,865

597

1,815

Q3 2016

585

4,317

288

1,890

Q4 2016

1,522

4,594

597

2,064

Q1 2017

708

4,243

218

1,700


The Company's last twelve months ("LTM") Book-to-Bill ratio (defined as new firm and option orders divided by deliveries) was 120% and has been greater than 100% for 16 of the last 17 quarters, demonstrating overall growth in the Company's total backlog.

In addition, 1,054 EUs of new firm and option orders were pending from customers at the end of the period, where approval of the award to the Company had been made by the customer's board, council, or commission, as applicable, but purchase documentation had not yet been received by the Company and therefore not yet included in the backlog.  Subsequent to the end of the period, MCI received a notice-to-proceed from NJ TRANSIT to manufacture and deliver 185 commuter coaches for the second year of its six year contract.  These units are included in Q1 2017 option backlog shown below, details of this option conversion were included in a separate press release issued on April 11, 2017 .

In 2013, the US Federal Transit Administration ("FTA") issued a Dear Colleague letter to the transportation industry providing guidance on joint procurements and the assignment of options to purchase buses (referred to as "piggybacking"), limiting the amount of goods and services an agency can specify to that amount required to meet its expected needs.  The majority of public transit contracts have a term of five years. The table below shows the number of option EUs that have either expired or been exercised annually over the past five years, as well as the current backlog of options that will expire each year if not exercised. 


2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total

Options (EUs)

Expired

1,386

971

651

560

19





3,593

Options (EUs)

Exercised

601

1,764

1,339

2,064

218





5,986

Current Options

(EUs) by year of

expiry





512

988

1,256

1,317

2,459

6,682


Total Backlog and 2017 Production

At the end of Q1 2017, the Company's total backlog was 9,984 EUs (valued at $5.09 billion ) compared to 10,187 EUs (valued at $5.23 billion ) at the end Q4 2016, and 9,718 EUs (valued at $5.00 billion ) at the end of Q1 2016.

The Company's backlog consists of 30', 35', 40' and 60-foot medium and heavy duty transit buses, and 45' motor coaches primarily for public customers.  Buses incorporating clean propulsion systems (such as natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, electric-trolley, and battery-electric) represent approximately 42% of the total backlog.  Zero-emission buses (battery-electric, fuel-cell and electric-trolley) represent approximately 4.3% of total backlog.

Total Backlog

Firm Orders (EUs)

Options (EUs)

Total (EUs)

Ending backlog at Q4 2016

New orders in Q1 2017

Options exercised in Q1 2017

Deliveries in Q1 2017

Cancelled/expired options in Q1 2017

3,442

534

218

(892)

-

6,745

174

(218)

-

(19)

10,187

708

-

(892)

(19)

Ending Backlog at Q1 2017

3,302

6,682

9,984


The Company's master production schedule combined with current backlog and orders anticipated to be awarded by customers under new procurements is expected to enable the Company to deliver approximately 3,650 EUs in fiscal 2017, an increase of 4% compared to fiscal 2016, with production rates increased for both heavy-duty transit buses and motor coaches. Production rates will vary from quarter to quarter due to product mix and award timing. 

Market Demand

The Company's Bid Universe metric reports active public sector competitions in Canada and the United States , and provides an overall indicator of active bid activity and expected heavy-duty transit bus and motor coach market demand.  It is a point-in-time snapshot of: (i) EUs in active competitions, defined as all requests for proposals received and in process of review plus bids submitted and awaiting customer action, and (ii) management's forecast based on public customer projection of expected EUs to be placed out for competition over the next five years.

At the end of Q1 2017 the number of active EUs was 8,084 EUs and total Bid Universe was 22,144 EUs, which are 23% and 4.7% respectively higher than the previous quarter. 


Bids in

Process

(EUs)

Bids

Submitted

(EUs)

Total Active

(EUs)

Forecast New

Procurements

over next 5 Years

(EUs)

Total Bid

Universe

(EUs)

Q1 2016

1,750

5,536

7,286

15,632

22,918

Q2 2016

1,407

2,791

4,198

15,134

19,332

Q3 2016

3,474

3,123

6,597

17,138

23,735

Q4 2016

1,984

4,616

6,600

14,538

21,138

Q1 2017

2,424

5,660

8,084

14,060

22,144


Procurement of transit buses and motor coaches by the public sector is typically accomplished through formal multi-year contracts, while procurement by the private sector is typically accomplished through transactional sales.  As a result, the Company does not publish a forecast metric for private sector buses and motor coaches.

Management continues to expect that transit bus and motor coach procurement activity by public transit agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada should remain robust based on an aging fleet, improved overall economic conditions, expected customer fleet replacement plans and active or anticipated procurements.  Management also expects stable private sector demand for motor coaches through 2017 given healthy market dynamics including the general economy, travel trends and credit markets. 

Aftermarket

Total shipments by the Company's aftermarket business for Q1 2017 increased by 10.6% compared to the previous quarter, however decreased by 8.5% compared to Q1 2016.  New gross orders received in Q1 2017 increased by 4.2% compared to the previous quarter, while decreasing by 14% compared to Q1 2016. The year-over-year decrease in quarters is primarily related to the 14-week period in Q1 2016 versus the 13-week period in Q1 2017 and normal order fluctuations.

NOTE: All dollar amounts are stated in U.S. currency based on an exchange rate of U.S. $1.00 = CAD $ 1.3299 to calculate the value of the Canadian contracts in this release.

About the Company

The Company employs over 5,000 team members and is the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America with fabrication, manufacturing, distribution and service centers in Canada and the United States .

Through its Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries, New Flyer Industries Canada ULC and New Flyer of America Inc., the Company is North America's heavy-duty transit bus leader and offers the broadest transit bus product line (Xcelsior® and MiDi® models), incorporating the broadest range of drive systems available, including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, electric-trolley and now battery-electric. New Flyer actively supports over 44,000 heavy-duty transit buses (New Flyer, NABI and Orion) currently in service.

Through its Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries, Motor Coach Industries Limited and Motor Coach Industries, Inc., the Company is the leader in motor coaches in Canada and the U.S., offering the MCI J4500, which is the industry's best-selling intercity coach for 11 consecutive years, and the MCI D-Series, the industry's best-selling coach line in North American motor coach history. MCI is also the exclusive distributor of Setra S417 and S407 in the United States and Canada . MCI actively supports over 28,000 motor coaches currently in service and offers 24-hour roadside assistance 365 days a year.

The Company also operates North America's most comprehensive aftermarket parts organization providing support for all types of transit buses and motor coaches. All buses and coaches are supported by an industry-leading comprehensive warranty, service and support network.

Further information is available on the Company's websites at www.newflyer.com and www.mcicoach.com .

The common shares and convertible unsecured subordinated debentures of the Company are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols NFI and NFI.DB.U, respectively.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of the Company 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 customers to purchase buses and to purchase parts or services, customers may not exercise options to purchase additional buses, the ability of customers to suspend or terminate contracts for convenience 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, the Company disclaims 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.


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