RV and modular structures builder Coachmen Industries Inc. lost $1.4 million in the fourth quarter and almost $4 million during the full year 2001, but it sees a return to profitability during 2002.
Most likely, Coachmen will approach break-even during the first quarter and Chairman Claire Skinner anticipates the company will earn around 75 cents a share, or about $12 million, during the full year 2002.
Coachmen’s sales revenue in 2002 are “conservatively” expected to grow by 10% to about $650 million, which “will translate into a solid profit recovery for the year,” said Skinner, who also is president and CEO.
Coachmen’s loss of $1.4 million during the three months ended Dec. 31 compares with a loss of $7.8 million incurred a year earlier.
Its loss of $3.95 million during the full year 2001 compares with a profit of $2.2 million earned during 2000.
Coachmen’s RV operations lost $2.6 million pre-tax during the fourth quarter, compared with a $15.3 million pre-tax loss incurred during the fourth quarter of 2000. During the full year 2001, Coachmen’s RV operations lost $11.6 million pre-tax, compared with a pre-tax loss of $5.8 million incurred during 2000.
Coachmen’s fourth quarter total sales revenue declined 14% to $129.1 million and its RV sales slipped 26% to $71.1 million.
During the full year 2001, Coachmen’s total sales declined 19% to $593.9 million and its RV sales slid 36% to $349.8 million.
“Although we are not satisfied with the report of a loss for the fourth quarter,” Skinner said, “sales began strengthening in the fourth quarter and gained momentum as the period developed.”
Coachmen’s orders during the RV industry’s Louisville trade show in November were up 25% over a year earlier and the company recorded significant gains at subsequent regional retail shows “reinforcing our optimism about Coachmen’s prospects in 2002,” Skinner continued.
As a result, Skinner said Coachmen will re-open the motorhome assembly plant that it mothballed in late 2000, she said.
The RV industry has a history of strong recoveries from national economic recessions due to the fundamental attractiveness of the RV lifestyle, and Skinner believes the next recovery will follow the same pattern.