July 11, 2014

Winnebago reports improving sales

Winnebago Industries reports its net income nearly doubled in the third quarter as the recreational vehicle industry is rebounding after a few years of slow sales. The Forest City-based company reports earnings for the period ending June 1st of $7.7-million, compared to $3.9-million a year ago.

Chairman and CEO Randy Potts says he’s pleased to see the company had its best shipment quarter in more than five years and that it’s still seeing its sales order backlog climb.

Potts says they’re happy about the direction they are taking the business. He says it certainly shows in the financial results but also shows in a lot of other areas, including keeping a number of north-central Iowans employed as well as the quality of their product.

The R-V industry took a severe blow when the economy melted down and sales for the company were cut in half between 2007 and 2009. Potts says while the economy has improved, the R-V industry is still recovering. He says it’s better now, but there’s still a lot of room for it to heal.

The R-V business came back, but it’s still not normal, with the motorized part of the business only about 50-percent healed, according to Potts.

He says there’s a lot of opportunity left and room for continued optimism. Potts says there are a number of indicators that show the R-V industry will continue on the road to recovery. He says they tie their business to the health of the housing market as well as fuel prices.

Potts says he reads a lot of headlines about potential energy independence which would be good not only for the country as a whole but for the R-V industry, too. Revenues for the first 40 weeks of Fiscal 2013 were near 589-million dollars, an increase of more than 40%, compared to $419-million for the same time period in Fiscal 2012.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City