One of the two RV-related operating divisions within Glendale International Corp. recorded a slight improvement in sales during the first quarter ending Feb. 27, the company reported today (April 8).

The Oakville, Ontario-based manufacturer of RVs and electronics reported that sales from its Travelaire division located in Red Deer, Alberta, totaled $2.8 million, up from $2.4 million a year earlier. Net loss decreased to $565,000 from $950,000 a year ago. 

“The increase in sales and the reduction in net loss at Travelaire in the first quarter of 2009 as compared to the first quarter of 2008 relates to the sale of work force accommodations, mobile-office units and well-site units for the natural resource and construction industries in Western Canada,” the company explained.

“Travelaire has focused on the manufacture of these products to further diversify its manufacturing capabilities to include recreational vehicles, park models and commercial products. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2008 order backlog for production of commercial units was approximately two months, at the end of the first quarter of 2009 there were no further orders for production of commercial units at Travelaire.”

As a result of the recent significant decline in the price of crude oil, the demand for commercial products in Western Canada is uncertain, the company continued.

Meanwhile, the company’s Glendale RV division, located in Strathroy, Ontario, reported a net loss of $1.2 million for the quarter,  compared to net loss of $195,000 for the first quarter of 2008. Sales were $1.4 million in the first quarter compared to $6.5 million in 2008.

The decrease in sales and profitability for the first quarter is the result of a combination of negative economic factors including fluctuations in currencies, fluctuations in the price of oil, availability of credit, and the negative conditions of the North American economy, the company stated.

With respect to the first quarter of 2009  CEO Edward Hanna indicated that “the loss during the quarter for the recreational vehicle segment was primarily the result of a significant decline in demand for our recreational vehicle and commercial products due to the unprecedented negative economic environment. We continue to rationalize costs across all divisions and are debt free with working capital of $15.5 million including cash of $4.7 million as at Feb. 27.”

Overall, the corporation reported first-quarter sales of $19 million compared to $22.6 million for the first quarter of last year and a net loss for the period of $2.3 million compared to net loss of $1.1 million a year ago.