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Chassis builder Spartan Motors Inc. today (Oct. 28) announced record sales and a 29.5% increase in net income for the third quarter behind strong performances in the company’s RV and fire-truck sectors.
The Charlotte, Mich., manufacturer reported net sales of $91.7 million in the quarter, up 50.8% compared to net sales of $60.8 million during the same period in 2003.
Spartan posted net earnings of $1.9 million for the current third quarter versus $1.5 million for the third quarter of 2003.
Sales of Spartan’s motorhome chassis increased for the fifth consecutive quarter, growing 78.7% compared to the third quarter of 2003. The addition of several new motorhome models featuring Spartan chassis and growing penetration in the diesel market drove the increase in sales.
For the nine months, Spartan posted net sales of $232 million, compared to $176.3 million last year while net income increased to $5.5 million compared to $4.8 million in 2003.
“Our solid gains in the third quarter and year to date reflect growth in the markets we serve as well as our ability to win market share in the RV chassis business,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “During the third quarter, we began production for several new motorhome models and expect this run rate to continue.”
Spartan officials reported some softening in the RV retail market, which could slow its RV chassis growth in the fourth quarter.
Additionally, they said the firm’s steel costs more than doubled from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2004 and are up more than $1.6 million year to date. The company has been able to pass a portion of the increases through to its customers with surcharges and price increases on some products.
“We’re working with our steel suppliers as well as our customers to share the burden of the steel price run-up, but it was clearly a significant line item in the quarter,” said Chief Financial Officer Jim Knapp.