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Actuant Corp., manufacturer of Power Gear- and Dewald-brand RV slideout systems, reports its earnings increased 54% during the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2001, which ended Aug. 31.

The Milwaukee-based company earned $15.5 million during the June-through-August period of this year, compared with $10.1 million earned during the same portion of last year.

The higher profits came despite a 13% decline in fourth fiscal quarter sales revenue to $120.5 million.

However, Actuant’s fourth fiscal quarter operating earnings growth came from its Tools & Supplies segment, not from its Engineered Solutions segment, which contains its RV slideout business.

And despite the strong fourth fiscal quarter, Actuant’s fiscal year 2001 earnings were down 65% to $23.6 million. Its fiscal year 2001 sales declined 29% to $481.9 million.

The Engineered Solutions segment’s sales revenue increased 9% during the June-through-August period to $48.2 million, but its operating earnings declined 21% to $7.4 million.

For the 12 months ended Aug. 31, the Engineered Solutions segment reported its sales revenue declined 12% to $183.1 million and its operating earnings were down 35% to $28 million.

The “weak recreational vehicle market and slowing economy” negatively impacted the financial performance of the Engineered Solutions segment. Those factors were “partially offset by the acquisition of Dewald” last March, according to Actuant.