Thor Industries Inc. reported the company’s first net loss in over 17 years as RV sales declined over 70% for the Jackson Center, Ohio-based company’s second quarter, ended Jan. 31.

Sales for the quarter fell to $226.7 from $599.1 million a year ago while the net loss was $14.8 million compared with income of $21.6 million.

For the six months, sales were $665.5 million versus $1.36 billion the previous year. Thor reported a net loss of $9.7 million compared with net income of $59.8 million in the year-ago period.

Second-quarter RV sales declined to $134.6 million from $505.3 million in the year prior and decreased to $465 million compared to $1.17 billion for the six months.

Thor noted that cash, cash equivalents and investments on Jan. 31 were $310.1 million, up from $234.3 million last year and the company continues to have zero debt.

“This is our first loss in over 17 years, reflecting the recession, record low consumer confidence, and severe credit restrictions,” said Wade F. B. Thompson, Thor chairman. “Fortunately, we have the financial resources to continue to set ourselves apart from our competitors. We were the only manufacturer in 2008 to increase our market share in all four major RV categories, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, Class As, and Class Cs.”