Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. reported a 15% increase in sales from continuing operations for its first fiscal quarter compared to the same period year ago and an 8% boost in net income.

“Thor posted solid improvements in net sales and income from continuing operations in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 driven by continuing growth in both our motorized and towable operations,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and CEO, in the company’s announcement. “Looking ahead, we see a number of very encouraging signs in our markets and among our dealers that provide us with optimism. As we attend our largest industry trade show in Louisville this week, we expect Thor will make additional strides as we continue to expand our product offerings to meet the needs and expectations of our dealers and retail consumers,” he added.

Highlights from the first quarter included:

* Sales from continuing operations for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 were $922.0 million, up 15% from $800.0 million in the first quarter last year, as sales of both towable and motorized RVs posted double-digit growth.

* Net income from continuing operations for the first quarter was $39.2 million, up 8% from $36.4 million in the prior-year first quarter. Including the discontinued operations of Thor’s bus business, net income for the first quarter was $38.9 million, down 5% from $41.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, which included the gain on the sale of the bus business.

* Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations for the first quarter was $0.73, up 7% from $0.68 in the first quarter last year. Including the discontinued operations of Thor’s bus business, diluted EPS for the first quarter was $0.73, down 5% from $0.77 in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which included the gain on the sale of the bus business.

* Gross profit margins decreased to 12.8% in the first quarter compared to 13.1% in the prior-year period, due in part to the effects of the ongoing tight labor market in northern Indiana, other employee-related costs, changes in product mix and a slight increase in warranty expenses.

“With both the motorized and towable markets continuing to gain momentum, our recent investments in increased capacity should begin to pay off as we move through the fiscal year,” said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor executive chairman and co-founder.

“The growth in our towable backlog also reflects the strong acceptance of our dealers to the many new products we introduced at our Open House in September. Thor’s new products, especially those aimed at new buyers coming into the RV industry, should enhance our overall market position and provide growth opportunities in additional market segments, particularly in towables. We believe these efforts will provide us with a broader foundation on which to achieve our growth objectives over the long term,” Orthwein said.

Segment highlights included:

* Towable RV sales were $699.8 million for the first quarter, up 12% from $622.9 million in the prior-year period. Towable RV income before tax was $49.3 million, up 8% from $45.6 million in the first quarter last year.

* Motorized RV sales were $222.2 million for the first quarter, up 25% from $177.1 million in the prior year first quarter. Motorized RV income before tax was $15.1 million, up 12% from $13.4 million last year.

* Consolidated backlog on Oct. 31 was $909.7 million, up 24% from $733.2 million at Oct. 31, 2013.  Towable RV backlog increased 56% to $653.5 million, compared to $419.8 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2014.  Motorized RV backlog decreased 18% to $256.2 million from $313.4 million a year earlier, reflecting the impact of expanded production capacity on the company’s ability to meet higher demand levels more quickly.

* Thor’s total cash balances increased to $313.6 million, with no long-term debt.