Blue Bird Corporation (NASDAQ:BLBD) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Dec 11, 2019 • 04:30 pm ET


Blue Bird Corporation (NASDAQ:BLBD) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


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Please stand by, we're about to begin. Good day and welcome to Blue Bird's Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Full Year Earnings Conference call. This conference is being recorded. And at this time, I will turn the conference over to Mr Mark Benfield Executive Director of profitability and Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Mark Benfield

Thank you (ph) Deck .Welcome to Blue Bird's fiscal foutth quarter and full year 2019 earnings Conference call. The audio for our call is webcast live on under the Investor Relations tab.You can access the supporting slides on our website by clicking on the presentations box on the IR landing page. Comments today include forward-looking statements that are subject to risks that could cause actual results to be materially different .Those risks include, among others. Matters we have noted in our latest earnings release and filings with the SEC.

Blue Bird disclaims any obligation to update the information in this call. (inaudible) hear from Blue Bird's President and CEO, Phil Horlock ; and CFO, Phil Tighe who will take some questions. Bill.

Phil Horlock

Thanks, Mark. Well, good afternoon everybody, and thank you all for joining us today for our fourth quarter and our full year earnings call for fiscal 2019. We've made great progress this year, Blue Bird. We strive to improve overall profitability and margins. We always looking for through the share Alex quarterly and full year results with you. So let's start with an overview of those financial results on slide 4 .

As the first headline says So we had a really strong fourth quarter. In fact it was the highest in more than 10 years with adjusted EBITDA of about $33 million that was in those higher than a year ago, representing a 15% year-over-year increase. Importantly, this is our fifth consecutive quarter where profits increased over the prior year despite higher

Unidentified Speaker

commodity costs. Before proceeding, further, and as I mentioned in our prior earnings call, let me set the front-end strategy that we are pursuing. Throughout this (inaudible) earnings calls, you will hear a recurring theme of how we are driving our overall profit and margin improvement through three key initiatives.

First, the bus pricing that we took in late fiscal 2018 to address the escalation in tariff web commodity costs. results in a significant increase in average bus selling price in fiscal 2019. Importantly, we we plan to price each year to recover economic increases and digital again in July this year. Second, cost reductions that we're achieving through our transformational initiatives we saw the results in the second half of fiscal 2018 we continue to generate further cost savings in every quarter of fiscal 2019 and intends to do so going forward.

And third, continued leadership and growth in alternative fuels. Increasing our mix of alternative fuel powered buses as a (inaudible) of total sales, is key to profit growth as (inaudible) pre-selling price and gross margin compared with conventional fuel buses. Our growth in this segment continues to outpace