Forest City-based recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago Industries is off to a strong start in fiscal year 2018.

President and CEO Michael Happe spoke about the first quarter results in a conference all and says the purchase of Indiana-based Grand Design has continued to help the bottom line.

“Consolidated revenues in Q-1 increased nearly 84 percent versus first quarter of a year ago. Driven primarily by a full quarter of Grand Design RV performance. Compared to just three weeks last year of GDRV in the same period,” Happe says. Grand Design’s towable trailers pulled the company along — increasing revenues by $200 million in the quarter.

“Towables represented more than 57 percent of our net revenues in this first quarter of fiscal year 2018,” Happe says. “Very different from the sub 10 percent position we were in during most of the last decade.” Happe says they are also excited about the Winnebago brand towables.

“Their own growth also continues to materially outpace the market with a revenue increase in the quarter over 50 percent and a backlog position that also continues to grow steadily,” Happe says. Happe says the more diversified company is helping them command more of the overall RV marker. But Happe says they still have some work to do when it comes to their motor home line.

“While unit shipments rose slightly, revenue dollars were down just over two percent year over year. Our profibility results in this segment were disappointing,” Happe says. He says they have several things in the works to improve the design and sales of the motor homes.

“We have been very clear that fiscal 2018 is a key year for the motorized segment to find its legs financially and with our customers,” Happe says. “Clearly we have work to do here and significant focus remains with this business.”

Happe says it does appear that near-term prospects for a ninth consecutive year of RV shipment growth in North America is probable.