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Spartan Motors Inc., Charlotte, Mich., today (Feb. 16) reported a 41% increase in net earnings for the year despite soft sales in the recreational vehicle sector which impacted the company’s Spartan Chassis subsidiary.
For the full year, ended Dec. 31, Spartan posted record revenues of $343 million compared with $312.3 million the year prior while net income rose to $8.3 million from $5.9 million.
The company reported fourth-quarter sales declined to $75.5 million from $80.3 million a year ago. Net income during the three-month period was $986,000 compared with $395,000 in 2004.
Spartan reported strong performance in its fire truck and military vehicle segments. RV chassis sales continued to be pressured by a weak motorhome market, falling 33.7% in the company’s fourth quarter from the previous year.
“Because of softer market conditions, our sales for RV chassis for 2005 were slightly less than last year,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “However, we did gain profitable market share as evidenced by the fact unit shipments of Class A motorhomes were down 18.1% while our RV unit shipments declined by only 2.3%. We expect our RV chassis sales in 2006 to outpace 2005 because of our increased motorhome model presence and an overall improvement in the RV market.”
Spartan reported its gross margin improved to 14.8% in the fourth quarter of 2005, compared with 11.9% for the same period in 2004, due to operating improvements as well as better pricing to match material cost increases. Operating margin in the quarter also improved to 1.9% from 1.1%.