NEWS IN FOCUS
Thor Industries Enjoys Record Start to Fiscal ’16
Sales from continuing operations for the first quarter were $1.03 billion, up 12% from $922 million in the first quarter last year. The Elkhart, Ind.-based company reported sales of towable and motorized RVs posted combined growth of 8%, including revenue from acquisitions, which was supplemented by revenues from the acquisition of Postle Aluminum.
Net income from continuing operations for the first quarter was $50.7 million, representing a 29% increase from $39.2 million in the prior-year first quarter while diluted earnings per share rose to 97 cents from 73 cents in the first quarter last year.
Gross profit margins increased to 14.8% in the first quarter compared to 12.8% in the prior-year period, due in large part to changes in product mix and improvements in material, labor and warranty costs relative to the higher levels of labor and warranty costs in early fiscal 2015.
Consolidated RV backlog on Oct. 31 rose 16% to $1.05 billion from $909.7 million at Oct. 31, 2014. Towable RV backlog increased 9% to $710 million compared to $653.4 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Motorized RV backlog grew 33% to $341 million from $256.2 million a year earlier, reflecting the strong reception to the new products introduced at the Elkhart RV Open House in September.
“Continued focus upon execution of our strategic plan allowed Thor to achieve a record start to fiscal 2016, with sales and backlogs both exceeding $1 billion, improved margins and strong earnings growth for the quarter,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and CEO. “This record performance would not have been possible without the strength of our dealer base and all of our team members who work hard to make what we think are the best RVs in the business. We are optimistic about our prospects for continued growth in fiscal 2016 as we build on the momentum of the Elkhart RV Open House at our largest industry trade show in Louisville this week.”
Segment Highlights include:
• Towable RV sales were $744.7 million for the first quarter, up 6% from $699.8 million in the prior-year period, driven in part by the inclusion of revenues from Cruiser and DRV Luxury Suites which were acquired effective Jan. 1. Towable RV income before tax rose 28% to $63.2 million from $49.3 million in the first quarter last year.
• Motorized RV sales were $251.1 million for the first quarter, a gain of 13% from $222.2 million in the prior-year first quarter. Motorized RV income before tax was $21.7 million, up 43% from $15.1 million last year.
• Thor’s total cash balances as of Oct. 31 were $179.3 million.
“We have posted a very strong start to the new fiscal year as our focus on strategically growing our business over the past two years through investments in acquisitions, new capacity and product innovation continued to pay dividends,” said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor executive chairman. “Although we achieved record backlogs, exceeding $1 billion for the first time, the next two quarters will present tougher comparisons given the significant growth we achieved last year. Despite seasonal variations, we expect to achieve growth in sales and earnings for the full year, even though we may not see quarterly growth rates as strong as we saw this quarter.”