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Featherlite Inc., a builder of specialty aluminum trailers, transporters and luxury motorcoaches, reported increased sales for its fiscal year while earnings were down slightly, in part due to weakness in the fourth quarter.
“Despite some softness in the fourth quarter, the company had a solid year in 2005,” Conrad Clement, president and CEO of the Cresco, Iowa, company which recently introduced the all-aluminum Featherlite SURV. “Sales in 2005 increased by $8.7 million, including an 8.3% increase in trailer sales. This was partially offset by a sales decrease in the coach segment of 1.8%.”
For the full year, ended Dec. 31, the company posted net income of $4.5 million compared to $4.9 million the previous year, which included a non-recurring income tax benefit of $829,000. Sales totaled $225.3 million, an increase of 4% over 2004 sales of $216.6 million.
In the fourth quarter, Featherlite recorded net income of $884,000 compared with $1.2 million the year prior on sales of $55.6 million versus $56.6 million.
Clement said the manufacturer is “cautiously optimistic” for prospects in 2006, despite “fluctuating” aluminum and steel costs.
“The company is managing this aggressively through appropriate product price increases and surcharges,” he said. “This will continue until these metal commodity prices fully stabilize.”
Last month, Featherlite engaged a financial adviser to help the board “explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.”