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Buoyed by strong performance in the Class A diesel motorhome sector, Winnebago Industries Inc. reported record revenues that topped $266 million and nearly an 8% gain in earnings for the company’s first quarter of fiscal 2005.
Sales for the three-month period, ended Nov. 27, were a record $266.1 million, a 4.4% increase compared to revenues of $254.9 million for the same period in fiscal 2004.
The Forest City, Iowa builder reported that net income was a record $19.5 million, representing a 7.7% increase compared to net income of $18.1 million for the first quarter last year.
“The increase in Winnebago Industries’ Class A diesel motorhome shipments remains a very positive driver of our business,” said Chairman, CEO and President Bruce Hertzke. “Wholesale deliveries of our Winnebago Journey and Vectra, and Itasca Meridian and Horizon Class A diesel motorhomes increased 13% in the first quarter of fiscal 2005 compared to the same quarter a year ago.
“Negatively impacting first-quarter motorhome deliveries, however, were hurricanes and severe weather conditions in the southeastern portion of the U.S. Operating margins continued at a high level, although somewhat lower than last year’s exceptionally strong performance primarily because of a less-favorable product mix. Additionally, the quarter benefited from a lower tax rate.”
Deliveries of gas Class A motorhomes for the quarter were 1,326 units compared to 1,342 in last year, while Class C shipments dropped to 903 for the quarter from 1,091 last year. Diesel motorhome deliveries rose to 596 units compared to 529 last year.
The company’s sales-order backlog was 2,080 units as of Nov. 27 compared to the backlog of 2,768 units one year ago. Winnebago said the backlog was lower than last year’s record levels in part because of increased capacity as a result of the new Charles City, Iowa, manufacturing facility and more appropriate levels of dealer inventory.
“Dealer reaction to Winnebago Industries’ new products at the RVIA show in Louisville, Kentucky in early December was extremely positive, particularly to the brand-new Winnebago View and Itasca Navion high-mileage Class C diesel models,” Hertzke noted. “Orders taken at the show were 53% ahead of those taken at last year’s Louisville show, of which a significant portion were for the new View and Navion, scheduled to be delivered to our dealers in the latter half of fiscal 2005.”