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Motorhome manufacturer Winnebago Industries Inc. reports record sales revenue and earnings per share for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2004 because of its dealer body’s enthusiastic acceptance of the 2004 models.
Winnebago’s sales during the three months ended Nov. 29 increased 9% to $254.9 million, compared with $233.3 million in the September-through-November portion of 2002.
The company’s net income also increased 11% in the first fiscal quarter to $18.1 million, compared with $16.3 million a year earlier.
In addition to the higher net income, Winnebago’s earnings per share increased 19% to a record $1.01 per share because the company repurchased, and did not resell, 1.45 million shares from Hanson Capital Partners LLC, the investment partnership that includes descendants of company founder John K. Hanson. Winnebago paid $44.1235 a share, or almost $64 million, for the Hanson stock.
“The increases in revenues and net income are the result of the excellent acceptance of Winnebago Industries’ new 2004 motorhomes, particularly the company’s new and redesigned diesel models: the Winnebago Journey and Vectra and the Itasca Meridian and Horizon,” said Bruce Hertzke, chairman, president and CEO. The 2004 models were introduced in the summer.
“Fiscal 2004 got off to a strong start as evidenced by the company’s 42% increase in sales-order backlog to 2,768 motorhomes as of Nov. 29, compared to 1,950 motorhomes on Nov. 30, 2002,” Hertzke said. “If interest rates remain at relatively low historic levels and consumer confidence levels continue to rise in coming months, we believe we will see continued improvements in motorhome sales throughout the year.”
At the National RV Trade Show in Louisville earlier this month, Hertzke said, “We were pleased with the positive response to the company’s new product introductions, particularly our new Class A diesel models as well as the new triple-slide Winnebago Adventurer and Itasca Suncruiser Class A gas motorhomes,” Hertzke added. “Our dealers appear to be extremely optimistic about the retail sales environment for the remainder of calendar 2003 and for calendar 2004.”