Randy Potts

Randy Potts

Winnebago Industries Inc. was expected to post higher sales on sharply lower gasoline and diesel fuel prices in its fiscal second quarter, and the company said Thursday (March 26) that orders grew nearly 60% in the quarter. But, as reported by USA Today, revenue came in at $234.5 million, about 10% below Wall Street estimates.

“Intuitively, you think it would be very good news for our business,” Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts said in a conference call with stock analysts. “Our products consume oil-based fuel, and that should be a tailwind for us. Additionally, our products are driven to their destination, so it helps delivery cost. And a lot of the components, a lot of the materials we use in the construction, the plastics, the manufacturing of steel, I mean all involves oil. So, I’ve got to believe it’s providing a good base for the state of business.”

Still, through the first two quarters of fiscal 2015, Winnebago revenue is up just 1.7%.

Supply woes, including a lack of motorhome chassis, have also crimped production.

“The particular issues that were extraordinarily painful in the first quarter have subsided, but in the nature of the RV business and the type of supply base we have, we’re always challenged with some type of supply issues, whether it’s just lack of supply or quality issues with particular components,” Potts said. “We’re always dealing with some of that – we aren’t today as we speak – but nothing on the scale of what we saw in the first quarter.”

In a separate story filed by the Mason City Globe Gazette, Potts revealed during the call that the Forest City, Iowa-based builder will open an additional plant in another community.

More employees would have improved the financial numbers from the second quarter for Winnebago Industries, company officials said.

“We can’t build enough product to grow our business without the people,” Potts said.

“We don’t have an unlimited amount of people to recruit from in this area,” CFO Sarah Nielsen added.

Potts declined to provide additional details about the location or facility but did say it would employ about 70 people. He said more information about a location would be announced during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

For the full USA Today report click here. For the entire Globe Gazette story click here.