Winnebago Industries Inc. reported a net loss for its fiscal first quarter, ended Nov. 29, as the Forest City, Iowa-based builder cited the effects of declining motorhome sales, increased discounting and a lower mix of products sold.
“Current market conditions remain extremely challenging due to the overall decline in the general economy, and a declining housing market and stock market, which continue to erode the American consumer’s sense of wealth,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Bob Olson. “Additionally, the availability and terms of financing at both the wholesale and retail levels are a significant concern. Industrywide, dealer inventories continue to be adjusted downward by lower retail demand.”
Revenues for the 13-week quarter were $69.4 million, a decrease of 67.7% versus $215.1 million for the 14-week first quarter last year. Winnebago reported a net loss of $9.6 million compared with net income of $10 million.
Winnebago noted that it benefited from a reduction in inventories of $27.3 million, which contributed to a 61.1% increase in cash and cash equivalents to $28.8 million as of Nov. 29. The company added that its dealer body had also reduced inventory by 25.1% as of the end of the first quarter compared with last year.
“I believe once dealers have reduced their inventory levels to more closely match retail demand, we will experience an increase in deliveries through the replacement of retailed units,” Olson said.
Although Olson anticipates “continued softness in the motorhome market” during its seasonally slow second quarter, he reported that the company’s new product introductions had been well received at the recent National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. New Winnebago Via and Itasca Reyo Class A motorhomes built on imported Dodge Sprinter chassis highlighted its product rollout.