Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. reported today (Dec. 10) a net loss of $12.3 million for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2002, which ended on Oct. 28.

The loss during the August-through-October period includes the setting aside of $8.3 million “for pending settlements of two class-action law suits,” according to Fleetwood’s statement.

The plaintiffs who filed the two law suits were not identified in the company’s statement.

The loss during the three months ended Oct. 28 compares with a $3.4 million net loss that Fleetwood incurred during the same period a year earlier.

“Although we had hoped early in the quarter to break even, that was changed by the events of Sept. 11 and the opportunity to settle these lawsuits,” said Nelson Potter, president and CEO.

“As for the settlements, we believe that the alternative of additional attorney fees, consumption of management time and risks of litigation generally — regardless of the merit of the cases — justifies the cost,” Potter said.

Here are more details from Fleetwood’s financial report:

The company’s total second fiscal quarter sales declined 21% to $590.8 million. Its total sales during the six months ended Oct. 28 also fell 21% to $1.15 billion.

Total second fiscal quarter RV sales declined 15% to $297 million. Motorhome sales slipped 9% to $172 million and travel trailer and fifth wheels revenues declined 27% to $93 million. Fleetwood’s folding camper sales slipped 3% to $32 million.

Fleetwood’s RV Group reported a $10.1 million operating loss during the August-through-October period, compared with a $139,000 operating loss a year earlier.

For the six months ended Oct. 28, Fleetwood reported a total net loss of $23.5 million, compared with a net loss of $34.5 million a year earlier.

Total RV sales during the six months ended Oct. 28 declined 16% to $563.2 million. Motorhome sales declined 9% to $306 million while travel trailer and fifth-wheel revenues plunged 26% to $200 million. Folding camper sales also declined 6% to $58 million.

The RV Group lost a total of $27.9 million from operations during the six months ended Oct. 28, compared with a $13.4 million operating loss incurred during the same period a year earlier.

Fleetwood will report another net loss during its third fiscal quarter, which will end in late January, Potter said. However, he added, “Fleetwood is definitely making progress toward profitability.”

The company’s manufactured home building, motorhome, folding camper and supply operations all were profitable during the second fiscal quarter, Potter said.

“All of us are very aware of and are focused on what needs to be done to turn around travel trailers and continue the improvements in our housing retail division,” Potter added.