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Drew Industries Inc., parent of RV industry supplier firms Lippert and Kinro, reported its first quarter total sales declined 21% despite a 5% increase in RV industry revenue.

The company’s first quarter sales totaled $58.9 million and its net earnings during the three months ended March 31 declined 69% to $867,000.

Drew’s total first quarter sales declined because of sharply lower manufactured housing industry production volumes. Manufactured homes is the other industry Drew supplies.

The company’s first quarter RV sales increased because it opened five new towable RV chassis assembly plants since early 2000. However, because of start-up costs, the fact employees at the new plants were on the learning curve and competitive pricing pressures, Drew’s RV industry-related operating profit declined 20% to $1.7 million.

Drew management believes the company will be profitable during the second quarter, although it will earn less than it did during the April-through-June portion of 2000 “because of continued industrywide declines in sales of manufactured homes and RVs.”