Forest City-based Winnebago Industries saw second-quarter profits fall nearly 67-percent as consumer confidence in the economy dragged down the sale of recreational vehicles.
Winnebago president Bob Olson says winter is typically the company’s slowest quarter of the year, but this year is definitely unique when compared to previous years. He says people are concerned about spending money on things that may not be necessities.
Winnebago cut employment by nine-percent during the quarter to bring production in line with slowing sales, but Olson says the majority of the company’s workforce understands the situation. He says they’ve been able to avoid having to make any more cuts.
Olson says despite the economy being tough right now, company officials know there will be better days ahead. He says times are tough right now but it’s all beyond their control, adding: "What we have to do, like we’ve done in the past, is just look at how we manage the operation. You may have to make tough decisions you don’t like to make but we’ve got the management staff in place that will make them." He says once the presidential elections are over, the economy should return to normal and sales will shoot back up.
One of the positives for the year was being recognized as the top selling motor home manufacturer in the nation for the seventh straight year in a row. Olson says that news this week has been a bright spot for the company.
Winnebago reports net income was $2-and-a-half million for the quarter, or nine cents a share, down from $7-and-a-half million, or 24 cents a share a year ago. Sales fell 17-and-a-half-percent to $164-point-2 million from $199 million for the same period a year ago.