A soft Class A motorhome market, slowed by rising fuel prices, cut into profits during Winnebago Industries Inc.’s fiscal first quarter as the Forest City, Iowa, builder reported a 25% decline in earnings.
Chairman and CEO Bruce Hertzke also pointed to a “shift in product mix” toward lower priced motorhomes that negatively impacted profit margins.
Net income for the three-month period, ended Nov. 26, was $14.6 million compared to $19.5 million a year ago while revenues fell to $232.3 million from $266.1 million.
It was the fourth consecutive quarter that the company reported declining profits.
Winnebago reported that its sales order backlog was 2,013 units at the end of the quarter, down from 2,080 a year earlier.
“Following industry trends, the sales order backlog demonstrated the shift in mix of products to lower priced motorhomes,” Hertzke said. “In addition, the positive dealer and retail consumer response to the company’s new Winnebago View and Itasca Navion fuel efficient Class C diesel motorhomes have also positively impacted our Class C backlog.”
Deliveries fell 11.7% to 2,494 vehicles during the quarter, dragged down by a 31.2% drop in Class A shipments including a 46% decline in gas-powered motorhomes. Deliveries of Class C motorhomes rose 29.7% to 1,171 units.