White Plains, N.Y.-based Drew Industries Inc., parent to recreational vehicle and manufactured housing suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., posted first-quarter sales that eclipsed any quarter in the company’s history.

According to the company, revenue increased 32% to $224 million in the first quarter, ended March 31, compared with $169 million the year prior. The sales growth, boosted by recent acquisitions, was primarily the result of a 34% sales increase by Drew’s RV segment. The RV segment accounted for 87% of Drew’s consolidated net sales.

Net income during the quarter was $11.1 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9.4 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, a year ago.

“Over the past few months, retail demand in the RV industry has improved,” said Fred Zinn, Drew’s president and CEO. “Despite continued concerns about high unemployment and slower economic growth in the U.S., industry-wide retail sales of travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs increased more than 6% for the three months ended February 2012, compared to the year-earlier period. Although the RV industry is sensitive to economic conditions, we are optimistic about the potential for long-term growth in retail demand for RVs.”

Jason Lippert, CEO of Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components and Kinro, added, “As we expected, the acquisitions we completed and the new products we introduced over the past two years added substantially to our sales growth in our core markets and adjacent markets in the first quarter of 2012. This sales growth, combined with significant increases in industry-wide production of both RVs and manufactured homes, was a great start for the year.”

Drew reported that sales growth continued in April 2012, reaching approximately $80 million, 34% higher than in April 2011. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, Drew’s net sales for April 2012 were up approximately 22%. Sales orders for May have remained strong.

As anticipated,  the company’s operating margin improved in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, which was impacted by higher material costs, higher production costs in one product line and start-up and integration costs.

Drew will provide an online, real-time webcast and rebroadcast of its first quarter 2012 earnings conference at www.drewindustries.com today at 11 a.m. Eastern. Individual investors can also listen to the call at www.companyboardroom.com.

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