Forest City-based Winnebago Industries is posting a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by price increases and more wholesale deliveries of towable campers. Winnebago posted third-quarter net income of $3.9-million, or 13-cents per share. That’s up from $1.2-million, or four-cents per share, a year ago.
C.E.O. Randy Potts says sales of the company’s towable products helped the company in the third quarter. The fifth-wheel RVs and travel trailers are produced at Winnebago’s factory in Middlebury, Indiana, after the company purchased SunnyBrook RV Manufacturing in December 2010.
He says that part of the business is starting to become more substantial, being about 10% of the revenue generation for the company currently, with potential for growth. Potts says while motor homes are still the vast majority of their business, the towables is becoming a bigger part of it, following with the company’s plans after acquiring the Indiana plant.
Potts says he’s pleased to see the towables part of the company grow at this pace. He says the towable market came back from the recession in a much stronger position than the motorized market.
Potts says there’s a bigger market for towables and it should provide the company more of an opportunity for growth. Potts says the company is also happy that there is a sales order backlog for their motorized products. He says the company is responding to that by increasing production rates in a measured way in trying to keep things stable.
Potts says the third quarter of the fiscal year has helped after the company posted an operating loss for the first two quarters.
He says the company “didn’t get off to a very good start, but that’s behind us.”
The company had difficulty trying to get through the slow season and they are looking ahead in wanting to not be in the same position next year. For the first nine months of fiscal year 2012, the company reported a net income of $4.1-million, or 14-cents per diluted share, compared to $8.3-million, or 28-cents per share for the first nine months of fiscal year 2011.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City