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Although Coachmen Industries Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Claire Skinner admits she is worried about the outlook for the economy, the possibility of war and terrorist attacks, last year was a good one for the company so she plans to expand RV manufacturing capacity in Indiana and Georgia.
Skinner revealed on Feb. 11 the details of Coachmen’s financial report for the fourth quarter of 2002 and the entire year
The Elkhart, Ind.-based company earned $2.7 million net in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a net loss of $1.4 million incurred in the final three months of 2001. Coachmen earned $9.9 million for all of 2002, compared with a loss of almost $4 million in 2001.
The company’s total sales revenue increased 28% during the fourth quarter to $164.1 million and its RV sales climbed 48% higher to $103.7 million.
For all of 2002, Coachmen’s total sales increased 13% to $665.2 million and its RV sales revenue climbed 26% higher to $435.5 million.
However, Coachmen’s RV operations posted a pre-tax loss of $1.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a pre-tax loss of $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. But its RV operations earned $1.9 million pre-tax during the full-year 2002, compared with a pre-tax loss of $11.6 million incurred in 2001.
Coachmen’s RV operations “remained strong” in the fourth quarter but “leveled off, as did industry sales,” Skinner said.
Coachmen significantly reduced its RV dealer order backlog in the fourth quarter, but its backlog grew again in January because of “strong response to Coachmen’s offerings at the Louisville show” in December.
Consequently, Coachmen decided to add more RV production capacity in Middlebury, Ind., and Fitzgerald, Ga., Skinner said.
In Middlebury, Coachmen will build a new 128,000-square-foot Class C motorhome assembly facility which should become operational during the third quarter of this year, said Coachmen spokesman Rich Allen.
In Fitzgerald, Coachmen plans to add about 100,000 square feet space on to its existing towable RV assembly factory. The expansion will allow Coachmen to build all of its towable lines in Georgia, Allen said. The timetable for the Georgia expansion had not been established as of RVB presstime.
“While these are all positive developments, we, like all Americans, are concerned about the economy, terrorism and war,” she said. “Because of that, we feel it is not advisable to give a definitive forecast for 2003 at this time.
“Assuming reasonable stability, we anticipate sales growth of between 8% and 10%, and earnings growth in the 30% to 40% range,” Skinner continued. “As conditions become clearer, we will endeavor to tighten up the forecast.”