Winnebago Blaming high gasoline prices and a soft economy hurting sales, Forest City-based Winnebago Industries reports third-quarter profits fell 73%. Winnebago C-E-O Bob Olson says the motor home market has changed significantly in the last year.

He says the whole industry has been down and it will be tough for a couple of months before things get turned around. Olson says Winnebago has seen tough times before and the company will bounce back once the economy picks up again.

He says there’s a lot of things that are having an impact on the general economy in the United States, but he’s confident his management team will make the right decisions to keep the company strong and viable. Olson says when compared to the rest of the recreational vehicle industry, Winnebago isn’t doing so poorly.

Olson says the economy isn’t helping, but he realizes they aren’t the only company that’s being impacted by the current economic conditions. "We’re not in this thing alone. There’s a ton of businesses and business sectors that are feeling the pain of the economic woes in this country," Olson says.

Winnebago reports it earned three-million dollars, or ten-cents a share, in the three months that ended May 31st, compared with 11.3 million, or 35-cents a share, a year ago. Sales fell nearly 40% to 139.7 million.

The net income figure included a tax benefit of eight-point-nine-million. The company reported an operating loss of 6.9 million compared with an operating income of 14.7 million a year ago.