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Spartan Motors Inc. today (Feb. 17) announced a nearly 32% increase in revenues for the company’s fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, but profits for the three-month period were weakened by higher material costs and investments for its emergency vehicle subsidiaries.
Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan, which produces custom motorhome chassis, fire truck chassis and emergency-rescue vehicles, reported net earnings for the fourth quarter of $395,000 compared to $1.3 million in the previous year while net sales were $80.3 million versus $61.1 million.
For the year, Spartan reported earnings from continuing operations grew 32% percent to $5.9 million compared to $4.4 million the year prior and revenues rose to $312.3 million versus $237.4 million in 2003.
The company said sales for the fourth quarter were driven by market share gains at its Spartan Chassis division, which grew by 36% including a 56% increase in RV chassis sales.
“We had a banner fourth quarter and full year in RV chassis sales, as our combination of innovation and quality helped us toward our goal of becoming the most desired brand among OEMs and RV consumers,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “Looking ahead, we expect continued, though less aggressive, growth buoyed by a solid RV market and our ability to win market share with new and existing customers.”
The company also noted it had initiated programs to offset rising steel prices that impacted earnings.
“We have been able to pass some of our material cost increases on to customers and have worked successfully with several of our suppliers during the fourth quarter to reduce the steel price impact,” said CFO Jim Knapp. “Based on our model year pricing in the RV chassis business as well as our long lead times in fire trucks and emergency vehicles, we expect to recapture more of the steel price surcharges during the first quarter in emergency vehicles and in the third quarter of 2005 in RVs.”