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Specialty trailer and bus converter Featherlite Inc. reported losses for the fourth quarter and full year 2001.
The Cresco, Iowa-based firm lost $4.9 million during the three months ended Dec. 31 and $8.8 million during the full year 2001.
In comparison, during the fourth quarter of 2000, Featherlite lost $11 million and it lost $9.9 million during the full year 2000.
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had “a profoundly chilling effect” on Featherlite sales during the October-through-December period, according to Conrad Clement, president and CEO.
Among the actions taken by Featherlite were motorhome price reductions which resulted in a $2.5 million write-down of the value of its ”non-current new and used motorcoaches,” according to the company.
Featherlite also reduced management salaries and froze wages because of reduced cash flow.
“Featherlite has received proposals from two of its existing lenders to continue established credit facilities in 2002 and beyond,” the company reported. “The company expects these proposals to be finalized and closed by April 30. These arrangements, if finalized, would allow Featherlite to continue operations with its current trailer and motorcoach divisions.”
In December, Featherlite revealed that Clement offered to buy the Featherlite Luxury Coach Division, if he could obtain financing. Featherlite did not provide an update on that situation except to report that it is “pursuing strategic financing alternatives through an investment banking firm, including obtaining additional long-term capital to finance the entire company or possible sale of the motorcoach division.”
Although Featherlite’s sales revenue fell 30% during the fourth quarter to $39.1 million, and its full year 2001 revenue declined 12% to $212.8 million, the firm reported the order backlog for its trailers “is increasing significantly” and its motorhome “sales are very active.”
Featherlite converts Prevost bus shells into luxury motorcoaches that it retails under the Vantare brand name.
Last summer, Featherlite discontinued production of the Vogue brand of mainstream highline Class A motorhomes and closed the Vogue production plant in Pryor, Okla.