Winnebago Industries Inc. reported record sales and earnings for its fiscal year 2000, which ended Aug. 26.

However, the company also reported that it was not immune to the motorhome sector slowdown because it reported lower sales and earnings for the June-through-August period.

During its fiscal year 2000, Winnebago’s earnings increased 9% to $48.4 million and its sales climbed 11% to $743.3 million.

During the three months earned Aug. 26, Winnebago’s earnings declined 21% to $7.9 million and its sales were down 1% to $164.3 million.

“Net earnings for the fourth (fiscal) quarter were affected by increases in sales incentives for 2000 model year motorhomes, and reduced production volume,” said Bruce Hertzke, chairman, president and CEO. “Winnebago Industries has closely managed its motorhome inventories at the factory level and we feel our inventories are appropriate for the current economic environment.”

Recently, traffic at retail shows and on dealers’ lots has been excellent, Hertzke said. “Retail sales, although lagging last year’s record numbers, have remained steady.”
Hertzke also believes dealer order volume will improve as retailers adjust to the higher interest rate, higher fuel cost environment.

Winnebago’s dealer order backlog currently is at 1,286 units, Hertzke added.