> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

                         Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. today (Sept. 25) reported a 21% increase in net income for its fourth quarter on record revenue.

Sales during the three-month period, ended July 31, grew 14% to $1.04 billion from $914 million a year ago as sales of both towable and motorized RVs posted double-digit growth.

Net income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter was $66.8 million, or $1.25 per share, compared with $55.2 million, or $1.04 per share, in the prior-year fourth quarter. Including the discontinued operations of Thor’s bus business, net income for the fourth quarter was $66.6 million, up 14% from $58.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

“Thor had a successful year in fiscal 2014, with solid growth in revenues and earnings on both the towable and motorized sides of our business,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and CEO. “During the year, we successfully completed three strategic towable acquisitions, expanded our production footprint with the Wakarusa and Elkhart production facilities and consolidated three west coast facilities, providing us with a strong base to support our future growth. Given the recent successful dealer Open House in Elkhart, our current lineup of innovative products, our strong dealer relationships and upcoming initiatives to better connect with consumers, we are well positioned for continued success in fiscal 2015.”

Other fourth-quarter highlights include:

• Gross profit margins decreased to 14.6% in the fourth quarter compared to 15.3% in the prior year period, due in part to the effects of the ongoing tight labor market in northern Indiana, changes in product mix, the ramp-up of production at the company’s new motorized facilities and a one-time inventory valuation adjustment of approximately $0.8 million related to the purchase accounting for the acquisition of KZ during the fourth quarter.

• Towable RV sales were $825.5 million for the fourth quarter, up 11% from $745.8 million in the prior year period. Towable RV income before tax was $84.0 million, up 10% from $76.4 million in the fourth quarter last year, primarily as a result of increased sales volumes and a gain on the sale of a facility in Oregon, partially offset by increased labor costs and costs related to purchase accounting for the acquisition of KZ.

• Motorized RV sales were $217.8 million for the fourth quarter, up 29% from $168.2 million in the prior year fourth quarter. Motorized RV income before tax was $15.0 million, up 11% from $13.5 million last year, which was driven primarily by increased sales volumes, partially offset by start-up and labor costs associated with new production facilities.

For the full year, sales from continuing operations were a record $3.53 billion, up 9% from $3.24 billion in the prior year. Net income from continuing operations for the fiscal year was $175.5 million, or $3.29 per share, up 16% compared to $151.7 million, or $2.86 per share, in fiscal 2013. Including discontinued operations, net income for the fiscal year was $179 million, up 17% from $152.9 million in the prior year.

Consolidated backlog on July 31 was $538.1 million, up 22% from $441.5 million at the end of fiscal 2013.  Towable RV backlog increased 30% to $296.8 million, compared to $228.4 million at the end of fiscal 2013.  Motorized RV backlog increased 13% to $241.3 million from $213.1 million a year earlier.

Thor’s total cash balances increased to $289.3 million, with no long-term debt.

“Thor achieved record levels of revenues and earnings from continuing operations in fiscal 2014 based on the continuing recovery of the RV market and the actions we have taken to improve our margins and operations,” said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor executive chairman. “During the year we significantly increased our motorhome capacity and made three towable acquisitions that will continue to provide opportunities within new market niches and alternative distribution channels.  We also completed the divestiture of our bus business, allowing us to focus on the RV industry.  Whether our future growth comes through our existing businesses or through acquisition, we look to extend our history of product innovation and quality to ensure we maintain and enhance our competitive position in the RV market.”