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Toro Company CEO Discusses F2Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

As we discussed in our first quarter call, new golf course irrigation projects have slowed overseas due to economic issues in Europe and China's ongoing review of development policies. However, continued renovation of existing courses is generating sales. Furthermore we are seeing increased golf purchases in Japan as the nation continues its recovery from the devastating earthquake and Tsunami that brought golf business to a halt in March of 2011.

Our global position in golf remains very strong. We were pleased to host many international customers most notably from Asia at the previously mentioned National Golf Industries show. We also enjoyed an enthusiastic turnout of golf decision makers at the Beijing Golf Show.

Moving to our landscape contractor businesses, scales rose at a healthy pace due to strong retail activity in the interest in our new products like the Z Master 2000 Commercial Series and our Stand-On Aerators. Our landscape contractor teams are also reporting growing demand for our zero turn products powered by electronic fuel injected engines commonly referred to as EFI. Although they demand a premium price, EFI systems delivered greater fuel efficiency, cleaner operation and require less maintenance. While they cost a bit more at the point of purchase, the cost of operation and thus the contractor's cost of doing business can be reduced. As the industry's utilization of EFI has grown, so has contractor awareness of the technology's potential to improve their bottom line. We are well positioned to continue to capitalize on this important trend. Our professional grounds business remains somewhat flat compared to a year ago. However, it's important to remember the business achieves strong growth during the first six months of last year and we're pleased to report it as kept pace with this robust F11 performance. As we suggested last call, some areas of the country are seeing unused snow removal monies being reallocated to the purchases of mowing products. However, we have also seen some hazardous being related to tighter municipal budgets and uncertainty associated with the upcoming elections.

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