Distributor/supplier firm Patrick Industries Inc. reported its third quarter earnings were down 55% and its sales were down 23%, primarily because of the manufactured housing industry’s long slump.

The Elkhart, Ind.-based firm earned $605,000 during the three months ended Sept. 30 on sales of $89.9 million.

During the nine months ended Sept. 30, Patrick lost a total of $3.1 million, compared with a profit of $6.2 million earned during the first nine months of 1999.

Patrick’s sales declined 16% during the first nine months of this year to $290.7 million.

Although manufacturing housing represents the largest portion of Patrick’s business, the company also has a significant number of RV industry customers.

Chairman Mervin Lung said the manufactured housing industry slump began during the middle of 1999 and he expects the soft market conditions in that industry will continue into 2001.