Despite profits being down nearly 26-percent for the first-quarter, officials at Winnebago Industries remain optimistic about the year ahead. The Forest City-based motor home maker reports its fiscal first-quarter profits were hurt by weakened consumer confidence. C-E-O Bruce Hertzke says even though profits are down, it was still a good showing for the company.
Hertzke says with a record year last year, it’s tough to live up to the expectations of another all-time high. In comparison the first quarter was better than 90-percent of all other previous first quarters in the company’s 47-year history. Hertzke says R-V sales were hurt by higher fuel prices over the quarter.
Besides gas prices, he also points to higher interest rates and lower general consumer confidence in the economy. Hertzke says there were several other elements that led to earnings being down. He says they had built up inventory and he says they’ve worked through that, but don’t expect business to get really good through the holiday season.
Earnings for the quarter totaled 14-point-six million dollars, or 44 cents per share. That’s down from last year’s first quarter of 19-and-a-half million, or 57 cents per share. Revenue decreased 13-percent to about 232-million from 266-million a year earlier.