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Winnebago Industries Inc. reported sharply increased earnings for the three months and six months ended March 1, although the company’s factories now are working four days a week to avoid the accumulation of excess inventories.
However, Bruce Hertzke, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, believes the RV industry slowdown will only be temporary.
“Due to the U.S. facing the lowest consumer confidence levels in recent history and geopolitical turmoil caused by the threat of war with Iraq, it appears the RV market has temporarily slowed,” Hertzke said in a statement issued today (March 18).
“As a result of the market slowdown and higher inventories, we have temporarily scheduled four-day work weeks for our factories,” Hertzke said. “Nonetheless, we believe long-term prospects remain extremely positive.”
Hertzke said he is pleased with Winnebago’s financial performance during the second quarter and first half of its fiscal year 2003, both of which ended on March 1.
During the December-through-February period, Winnebago’s net earnings increased 31% to $12.3 million, compared with $9.4 million earned a year earlier.
However, the company’s sales revenue increased a modest 2% during the three months ended March 1 to $186.7 million, compared with $183.1 million a year earlier.
During the first half of its fiscal 2003, Winnebago’s net earnings increased 42% to a record $28.6 million, compared with $20.2 million a year earlier. The company’s sales increased 17% during the six months ended March 1 to a record $420.8 million, compared with $360.9 million a year earlier.
Winnebago shipped 1,523 gas- and diesel-engine Class A motorhomes during the three months ended March 1, a 4% increase over the 1,470 units delivered to dealers during the same period a year earlier.
However, the company’s diesel-engine Class A shipments declined 9% during the December-through-February period to 366 units, compared with 404 units delivered to dealers during the same period a year earlier.
Winnebago’s Class C motorhome shipments also declined 25% during the December-through-February period to 736 units, compared with 978 units delivered a year earlier.
Winnebago’s dealer order backlog for Class A’s and Class C’s totaled 1,890 units as of March 1, compared with 3,206 units a year earlier.