Coachmen Industries Inc. reported its profits declined 59% and its sales were down 8% during the second quarter, although the company also reported strong order volume during its dealer meeting last week.

“Strong orders received at recent (July 16-18) dealer meetings reflect dealers’ confidence in returning market strength as well as great acceptance of the new 2001 models, many of which take the company into expanded markets,” according to the Coachmen statement issued today.

During the April-through-June period, Coachmen earned $3.7 million, compared with $9 million earned a year earlier. Its second quarter sales totaled $187.9 million, compared with $203.2 million a year-ago.

During the first half of this year, Coachmen’s earnings declined 52% to $7.7 million and its sales were down 8% to $383.1 million.

Coachmen’s recently announced program to combine administrative and support functions of Coachmen Recreational Vehicle Co. and Shasta Industries “is a new platform that will be phased in throughout the company,” said Claire Skinner, chairman and CEO.

Additionally, Coachmen now plans to sell at least four of its six company-owned dealerships in order to focus on its core RV and modular housing businesses.

Costs associated with the planned sales of the dealerships, along with expenses related to the recent sale of Coachmen’s marginally profitable office seating and van conversion operations contributed to the lower year-to-date earnings, Skinner added.