Class A motorhome manufacturer Rexhall Industries Inc. returned to profitability during the first quarter, the company announced today (May 13).
Rexhall earned $181,000 net during the three months ended March 31, a 52% increase over the $119,000 in net profit it earned during the first quarter of 2001.
Earlier, Rexhall reported net losses of $1.59 million for the fourth quarter and $1.99 million for the full year 2001.
Rexhall’s first quarter sales revenue also increased 14% to $17.4 million.
The company’s shipments were up 32% when the first quarter of this year is compared with the fourth quarter of 2001, according to Bill Rex, chairman, president and CEO.
“This was our best quarter of shipments in more than a year,” Rex said. “It appears that Rexhall and the Class A (motorhome) market are gaining momentum, which might be a good indication that the economy as a whole is on its way to a slow, but steady recovery.
“Our dealers are seeing growing retail demand and are responding with more orders,” Rex continued. “It also appears that retail sales are keeping up with the increase in shipments to dealers, so we’re not just filling up the dealers’ lots.”
Rexhall’s first quarter profits would have been bigger were it not for “operating inefficiencies that are inherent with a 33% increase in production,” said Mike Bourne, COO.
Chassis suppliers and some other major suppliers were unable to catch up with the demand from motorhome manufacturers until April, which led to “a constant juggling of production schedules” at Rexhall, Bourne added.
“We are continuing to sign on new dealers, but we are being very selective due to our current lead times,” Rex said. “Our order backlog is still greater than two months of production, which is longer than we’d like.”
Rexhall is making improvements to the production lines and inventory management system at its Lancaster, Calif., plant, which should result in higher profits during the second half of this year, Bourne said.