Winnebago Industries is closing its fiscal year on a positive note. The Forest City-based motor home maker reports fourth-quarter profits surged 59% over last year. Earnings hit 14.8 million dollars in the quarter, up from 9.3 million a year ago. Sales rose nearly 16% from 205- to nearly 238-million.
Winnebago CEO Bruce Hertzke says his company continues to buck the trends. Hertzke says the RV market has been flat or falling for several years but Winnebago’s had some very successful products. He says his company continues to keep a close eye on the motor home market, which he describes as unstable.
He says the market is very volatile and they’re working to react however they can. Hertzke says a recent reduction in interest rates by the Federal Reserve Board will likely help motor home sales in the next year.
As fall and winter arrive, the RV market traditionally slows, so he calls the half-a-point rate cut "a step in the right direction," adding, further rate cuts could help strengthen the economy and raise consumer confidence.
While it wasn’t a record, Hertzke says fiscal year 2007 ranks high for Winnebago. He says it’s one of the top five years in company history in terms of both total revenue dollars and in profit dollars. The north-central Iowa company’s board of directors yesterday also authorized a quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents a share. Winnebago will mark its 50th year in business in 2008.