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Drew Industries Exceeds $1B in Revenue for ’13

February 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc, parent to RV and manufactured home suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., today (Feb. 13) reported a double-digit increase in sales for its fourth quarter – driven by strong performance in its RV segment – while topping $1 billion in revenue for the full year.

Sales in the fourth quarter increased to $225 million, 12% higher than the 2012 fourth quarter. Net income totaled $11.1 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, compared to $4.7 million, or 21 cents per diluted share.

Revenue for the year increased by $114 million to a record $1.02 billion from the year prior while net income rose to $50.1 million, or $2.11 per diluted share, from net income of $37.3 million, or $1.64 per diluted share.

Fourth-quarter sales growth was primarily the result of a 16% increase by Drew’s RV segment, which accounted for 88% of consolidated net sales this quarter. In addition, sales of recently introduced components for towable and motorhome RVs increased, as did sales to adjacent industries and the aftermarket.

“The retail demand for RVs in 2013 was the largest the industry has experienced since 2007,” said Jason Lippert, CEO for Elkhart, Ind.-based Drew. “The RV lifestyle continues to grow in popularity each year. Although the RV industry is sensitive to economic conditions, we are optimistic about the potential for continued long-term growth in retail demand for RVs. The strong industry fundamentals combined with our sales gains are positive signs for the future. We strive to maintain our position as a leading supplier to the industries we serve by staying ahead of the market through innovation and investing in customer support resources.”

For the year, Drew’s RV segment sales increased 14% compared to the 10% increase in industrywide wholesale shipments of travel trailers and fifth-wheel RVs. Sales growth in new markets and new products continued to be key factors in enabling Drew’s sales to exceed RV industry growth rates.

In addition, Drew continued to grow outside its core RV and manufactured housing markets, with aggregate net sales of components for adjacent industries increasing 20% to $121 million, and aftermarket net sales increasing 21% to $39 million. Together, these markets now account for 16% of consolidated net sales, an increase from 10%of consolidated net sales in 2010.

“Achieving our $1 billion sales milestone was a significant accomplishment for the company,” said Lippert. “As we look towards future sales growth, we continue to identify the areas where investments are needed for long-term profitable growth. A key area of focus for the past year was our employees, and in 2013 we made solid progress at reducing employee turnover. This year we are increasing our efforts to improve employee retention, which should further improve operating efficiencies. In addition, we continually evaluate our production capacity and while certain capacity expansion plans may have a short-term negative impact on margins, over the long term these investments should allow us to improve our operating results, as well as our industry-leading customer service.”

Drew noted that in January 2014, as a result of the negative impact of the severe winter weather conditions during the month on industrywide production of RVs and manufactured homes, as well as on shipments of the company’s products, Drew’s consolidated net sales were approximately $82 million, a decline of 3% from January 2013.

“As a result of the road and facility closures caused by the extreme weather conditions, industry-wide production schedules for January 2014 were delayed,” said Jason Lippert. “However, retail RV shows for the first part of 2014 have been strong, with reports of higher traffic and increased sales activity, and backlogs at our customers have increased from the prior year. As a result, we are optimistic that the production delays from January 2014 will be made up over the coming months. Further, based on open orders and scheduled shipments for February 2014, our net sales for the year to date February 2014 are projected to be ahead of the comparable period of 2013.”

For the full report click here.

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Supplier Drew Sees 52% Jump in 3Q Net Income

November 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc., parent to RV and manufactured housing suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., today (Nov. 1) reported a 52% increase in net income for its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, boosted by improved margins and strong performance in the company’s RV segment.

Net income during the period totaled $14.8 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $9.8 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2012.

Net sales grew to $251 million, 11% higher than the 2012 third quarter. The sales growth was primarily the result of a 12% sales increase by Drew’s RV segment, which accounted for 87% of consolidated net sales this quarter. Drew said that sales of recently introduced components for towable and motorhome RVs increased, as did sales to adjacent industries and the aftermarket.

“Our companywide focus on our customers as our first priority has enabled us to gain market share and increase sales,” said CEO Jason Lippert. “In addition, we have been successful by staying ahead of the market through innovation. We continue to invest in customer service and research and development resources to maintain our position as a leading supplier to the industries we serve.”

He added, “Our operating profit margins in the third quarter of 2013 were 9.1% compared to 6.6% in the third quarter of 2012. The 2013 third quarter operating profit margins were consistent with the second quarter of 2013 largely due to management’s recently implemented efficiency improvements gaining momentum, partially offset by the anticipated impact of spreading fixed costs over a seasonally smaller sales base. Many of the production improvements resulted in larger than anticipated efficiency gains, including the benefits realized from our new glass tempering equipment.”

The company’s content per motorhome and towable RV for the twelve months ended September 2013 increased 4% to $1,137 per unit and 2% to $2,719 per unit, respectively, from the year-earlier period as a result of recent product introductions, product improvements and market share gains. The change in content per RV is a measure of the change in Drew’s overall market share across its existing product lines.

“Our labor as a percent of net sales in the third quarter of 2013 was consistent with the second quarter of 2013, despite the seasonal decline in net sales,” said President Scott Mereness. “The labor efficiencies we have realized over the past several quarters, while introducing new products and adjusting to industry and market share growth, have been significant. These improvements in labor during the first three quarters of 2013 were also primarily due to completed production efficiency improvement projects, as well as declines in the costs of implementing facility consolidations and realignments. We will continue to implement additional efficiency improvements as we identify them.”

In October 2013, Drew’s consolidated net sales reached approximately $95 million – 12% higher than in October 2012 – as a result of continued solid growth in the company’s RV segment.

“Our consolidated net sales for the trailing twelve months ended October 31 exceeded $1 billion,” added Mereness. “Achieving this milestone is quite an accomplishment for the company. In anticipation of future growth, we continue to expand and improve production capacity, investing in personnel and facilities in excess of current needs.”

Lippert noted, “Having completed our first full quarter since the executive transition, we believe that the process has been seamless, and we are pleased to report the 52% increase in year-over-year quarterly earnings. As we develop our strategic plans for the future, we expect to continue along the same path which has historically brought us success – profitable growth in our core RV and manufactured housing markets, diversification into adjacent industries, and cost control and production efficiencies. We believe the keys to accomplishing these goals are continuing to invest in new product development and customer service, as well as identifying areas where additional savings can be realized. I am confident that our management team has the ability to execute our strategic goals for the long-term growth of the company.”

To view the entire report click here.

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Kinro Inc. Appointing Roan as VP, RV Windows

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Josh Roan

Kinro Inc., sister company to Lippert Components Inc. (LCI), announced that Josh Roan has been promoted to vice president of RV Windows. According to a press release, Roan has worked in the RV industry for 17 years and has led several teams during his 10 years with Kinro and LCI.

Roan joined the senior leadership team in January and his performance led Kinro to promote him to vice president of RV Windows after just six months. In his new role, Roan will lead more than 800 employees producing an average of 6,500 tempered glass windows per day at two Indiana-based facilities.

“Josh’s intensity and commitment to taking care of our customers and employees have been keys to his success within our company,” said LCI and Kinro COO Todd Driver. “As vice president of RV Windows, Josh will provide superior customer service, drive new product development and build an even higher standard of quality as he integrates the expanded glass tempering operation into the RV Windows division. His excellent team building skills are evident in the stellar performance of his staff.”

CEO Jason Lippert believes the RV window teams will flourish under Roan’s leadership. “We are excited to see Josh thrive in his new role as vice president of RV Windows. We believe Josh is an exceptionally valuable leader who will steer his teams to greater growth.”

Roan expressed a desire to develop the best teams and product lines in his new role, noting, “We focus on our teams – building communication and encouraging leadership skills and problem solving. Our goal is to lead and grow our teams so we can successfully exceed customer expectations every time.”

Josh Roan can be contacted at (574) 312-6411 or jroan@lci1.com.

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LCI Names Pocock as VP, Specialty, MH Sales

September 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Andy Pocock

Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) and Kinro Inc. announced that Andy Pocock has been promoted to vice president of sales, specialty and manufactured housing markets, according to a press release.

For more than eight years, Pocock has led LCI and Kinro teams in many roles, including general manager of suspension and running gear. For the past 2 1/2 years, he served as director of business development of the specialty markets division.

In his new role, Pocock will oversee the manufactured housing and specialty markets teams. This combined sales team will focus on growing revenue content in manufactured and modular housing; truck cap; cargo and horse/livestock trailer; transit and school bus; marine and automotive accessories markets. He will also oversee business development in other markets.

“Andy has been a key member of our team for many years,” said LCI and Kinro President Scott Mereness. “His relationship-building skills and his broad company experience make him an excellent leader for this team.”

Pocock added, “I am proud to be a part of a team that seeks to exceed customer expectations every day. The specialty and manufactured housing markets present great potential for growth, and I am excited for the opportunity we have to grow and expand our business in these markets.”

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Lippert, Kinro Already Creating Jobs in Elkhart

August 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The recently completed move by Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc. of a plastics production operation from Texas to Elkhart, Ind., could result in 100 new jobs in the next 18 months.

The South Bend Tribune reported that about 50 of the jobs already have been filled, said Gary McPhail, CFO for Lippert and Kinro. Fewer than five people will be transferring from the thermoforming plastics business in Waxahachie, Texas, he said.

The 100 jobs were part of the spring announcement from Lippert and Kinro that indicated 800 jobs would be coming to Elkhart and Goshen over the next several years.

“It was a natural move for us to relocate a portion of our thermoforming manufacturing to Indiana,” said Scott Mereness, Lippert Components president, in a news release. “The new location allows us to collaborate more closely with customers on product development.

“We will use the open manufacturing space in Texas for axle production. Now both of these product lines have room to grow and are strategically positioned closer to the customer base they will primarily serve.”

Lippert Components and Kinro are subsidiaries of Drew Industries Inc. in Elkhart.

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LCI, Kinro Move Thermoforming Unit to Elkhart

August 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) and its sister company Kinro Inc., collectively one of the largest suppliers of plastic bathroom and kitchen products to the RV and manufactured housing industries, have moved RV thermoforming plastics production from a Waxahachie, Texas, facility to Elkhart, Ind.

According to a press release, the move will allow the plastics division to grow, while also opening up space for the Texas facility to begin axle production.

“It was a natural move for us to relocate a portion of our thermoforming manufacturing to Indiana,” said LCI President Scott Mereness. “The new location allows us to collaborate more closely with customers on product development. Further, we will use the open manufacturing space in Texas for axle production. Now both of these product lines have room to grow and are strategically positioned closer to the customer base they will primarily serve.”

The plastics division moved into a newly outfitted 103,000-square-foot facility in Elkhart. The new facility produces CSA-certified Better Bath product line of bathtubs, shower receptors, tub and shower wall surrounds and kitchen sinks; as well as wheel-well liners, storage boxes, panels for fifth-wheel fronts and slideout panels.

The Texas facility should begin producing axles for utility and horse trailer manufactures in Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding areas in early September. The Texas facility will also continue manufacturing windows and thermoformed products for other industries that LCI and Kinro serve.

General Manager Bill Mitchell noted, “Our decision to move production of our plastic RV products to Elkhart is another example of our commitment to continually improve and meet customer needs. We’re excited to begin producing axles for customers in the space freed up from the move.”

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Drew Reports Record 2Q Sales, Improved Profits

August 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc., parent to RV and MH suppliers Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) and Kinro Inc., today (Aug. 6) reported improved earnings, driven by higher margins, along with record sales for its second quarter, ended June 30.

Net income for the period was $15.9 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, compared to $11.7 million, or 52 cents per share, the previous year.

“Our operating profit margins improved sequentially in the second quarter of 2013 primarily due to efficiency improvements implemented by management, as well as the benefits of spreading fixed costs over a seasonally larger sales base and seasonally lower payroll taxes,” said Jason Lippert, Drew’s CEO. “This sequential margin gain was greater than originally expected, as many of the improvements implemented by management resulted in efficiency gains sooner than anticipated. We were confident that the steps we had taken to meet anticipated customer demand and improve profitability were correct, and it was reassuring to see the results of these efforts in the 2013 second quarter.”

Net sales in the second quarter increased to a record $287 million, 14% higher than $251 million in the same period last year. The growth was a result of a 16% sales increase by Drew’s RV segment, which accounted for 88% of consolidated net sales this quarter. Sales of recently introduced components for towable and motorhome RVs also contributed to the revenue increase, as did sales to adjacent industries and the aftermarket.

The company reported that its content per towable RV and motorhome for the 12  months ended June 2013 increased 5% and 23%, respectively, from the year-earlier period as a result of recent product introductions, product improvements and market share gains.

For the six months, Drew posted net income of $24.2 million, or $1.03 per share, versus $22.8 million, or $1.01 per share, a year ago while sales rose to $539.8 million from $474.56 million.

Our labor efficiencies continued to improve, with labor costs as a percent of sales declining in the second quarter of 2013,” continued Jason Lippert. “This improvement followed a sequential reduction of labor as a percent of sales of more than 1%t in the first quarter of 2013. These reductions during the first two quarters of 2013 were primarily due to improved production processes, as well as expected declines in the costs of implementing facility consolidations and realignments. Nonetheless, we are continuing to implement additional efficiency improvements as we identify them. However, the benefits of such improvements on our operating margins in the latter half of 2013 will likely be offset by the spreading of fixed costs over a seasonally smaller sales base.”

In July 2013, Drew’s consolidated net sales reached approximately $83 million – 13% higher than in July 2012 – as a result of continued solid growth in the company’s RV segment.

To view the entire report click here.

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Lippert Adding Hundreds of Jobs to Elkhart Co.

May 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When Jason Lippert talks about being bullish on the recreational vehicle industry, he’s clearly not kidding.

As reported by the South Bend Tribune, Drew Industries Inc., parent to Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., will be moving from White Plains, N.Y., to Elkhart, Ind. resulting in about six new jobs.

But of greater importance to the region is Lippert Components and Kinro Inc. are in the process of adding 500 new jobs that will push Drew’s total employment in the Elkhart County area to 5,300 by 2016. And Lippert and Kinro project another 300 jobs being added after 2016.

Lippert Components makes windows, mattresses, upholstered seating, leveling devices, suspension products, slideouts and other accessories for the RV industry as well as components for the manufactured housing industry. Kinro produces doors and windows for the RV and manufactured housing industries.

“Overall, we’re just bullish on the industry,” said Lippert, who is CEO of Drew Industries as well as the subsidiaries. “The products have never looked better.

To read the entire article click here.

 

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Drew Reports Record 1Q Sales, Earnings Drop

May 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc., parent to RV and manufactured housing suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., reported record sales during its first quarter, ended March 31.

Sales during the three-month period increased 13% to $253 million compared to $223.5 million a year ago. First quarter net income was $8.4 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, versus $11.1 million, or 49 cents per share, in the previous year.

“Our operating profit margin was below the first quarter of 2012 due to production inefficiencies and costs incurred as a result of our significant growth and expansion over the past year; however, profit margins improved sequentially in the 2013 first quarter,” said Fred Zinn, Drew president and CEO. “Our operating profit margin for the first quarter of 2013 was 5.8% before executive succession charges, compared to 4.1% in the 2012 fourth quarter. This sequential margin gain was less than originally projected, primarily due to higher material costs, substantial fixed costs invested in customer service and in anticipation of further sales growth, and seasonally higher payroll taxes.”

“In the first quarter of 2013, our labor efficiencies continued to improve, with labor costs as a percent of sales declining more than 1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012,” added Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components and Kinro. “We are also implementing additional efficiency improvements. As we previously reported, we expected the cost of implementing facility consolidations, realigning production and improving production processes to continue in the first quarter of 2013, although to a lesser degree than in the 2012 fourth quarter, and this was the case. These costs are expected to decline further in the second quarter of 2013. We remain confident in our ability to achieve further profit improvement, particularly during the second half of 2013, as these costs return to more normal levels, and as the bottom-line impact of the efficiency improvements gains momentum.”

Sales in the first quarter of 2013 increased despite a temporary slowdown in RV industrywide production levels in late March 2013. The increase in Drew’s first quarter net sales was a result of a 15% sales increase by its RV segment, which accounted for 89% of consolidated sales this quarter. RV segment sales growth was primarily due to a 10% increase in industrywide wholesale shipments of travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs, Drew’s primary RV market. Sales of recently introduced components for towable RVs, as well as motorhome components, also increased, as did sales to adjacent industries and the aftermarket.

In April 2013, RV industrywide production levels improved following the slowdown in late March, and Drew’s consolidated net sales reached a monthly record $100 million, 20% higher than in April 2012.

The company’s content per travel trailer and fifth-wheel increased 11% from the year-earlier period as a result of recent product introductions, product improvements and market share gains.

As previously announced, Fred Zinn will retire as president and CEO in May and Lippert will become Drew’s CEO while Scott Mereness will serve as Drew’s president. Drew will also be relocating its headquarters from White Plains, N.Y., to Elkhart, Ind.

As a result of the company’s executive succession and corporate relocation, Drew recorded a pre-tax charge of $1.1 million in the first quarter related to contractual obligations for severance and the acceleration of equity awards held by certain employees whose employment will terminate as a result of the relocation to Indiana. The Company will record an additional pre-tax charge of $0.7 million related to contractual obligations in the second quarter . No other related charges are expected thereafter. Once the transition and corporate office relocation are completed, the company will save approximately $2 million annually.

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Drew Industries to Report 1Q Financials May 3

April 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc., a key supplier to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries, will release its first quarter 2013 financial results before the market opens on May 3.

Drew also will host a conference call on May 3rd at 11 a.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss its results and other business matters. Participation in the question-and-answer session of the call will be limited to institutional investors and analysts.

Individual investors, retail brokers and the media are invited to listen to a live webcast of the call on Drew Industries’ website at www.drewindustries.com.

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Drew’s Relocation Bringing Jobs to Elkhart Co.

April 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc.’s plans to relocate its headquarters from White Plains, N.Y., to Indiana’s Elkhart County will add up to 800 jobs to the area, according to a press release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Drew, parent to RV and manufactured housing suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., announced the relocation in February along with key management changes, including the appointment of Jason D. Lippert as the company’s chairman and CEO.

The company said it plans to invest $12.75 million to renovate and equip four manufacturing facilities in Goshen and Elkhart. As part of the project, Drew will install new manufacturing and production lines, which are expected to be operational this year.

“Our focus on job creation is paying off as Indiana’s economic momentum continues,” said Gov. Mike Pence. “Drew Industries’ announcement builds on our strength as the RV capital of the world and serves as the latest proof that our convenient location, competitive tax environment and talented workforce have put Indiana on the map as a state that works for business.”

With more than 5,200 full-time employees across the country, Drew Industries currently has approximately 3,400 employees in Indiana. The company has already begun hiring additional engineers, furniture assemblers, general laborers, drivers and welders in Elkhart County.

“We have experienced significant growth over the past three years,” said Lippert. “When looking to relocate our corporate headquarters, Indiana made the most sense due to its talented workforce, and because most of the RVs produced in the United States are produced in Elkhart County. We greatly appreciate the support provided to us by the state of Indiana, Elkhart County and the cities of Goshen and Elkhart and we look forward to continued growth and future success here.”

“We’re excited about Drew Industries’ plans for expansion,” said Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore. “This expansion further solidifies Elkhart’s position as the RV capital of the world. I look forward to many more future expansions like this in the community.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Drew  up to $4.3 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Elkhart and the city of Goshen will consider additional property tax abatements at the request of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.

“Elkhart County is fortunate to have Drew Industries,” said Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman. “They have become one of the largest employers in the city of Goshen and Elkhart County. We are pleased with their ongoing commitment to investing in our community and applaud their success.”

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Drew Posts Record Revenue for ’12, 4Q up 25%

February 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc., parent to industry suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., today (Feb. 20) reported record revenue for its full year, ended Dec. 31, boosted by a 25% increase in fourth-quarter sales and strong performance from its RV segment.

The White Plains, N.Y-based company, which recently announced a realignment in upper management and the relocation of its headquarters to Elkhart, Ind., reported net income of $4.7 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, in its fourth quarter compared to $4.1 million the year prior. The company noted that earnings included a previously announced after-tax charge of $0.9 million in connection with executive succession.

Sales in the fourth quarter increased to $200 million, 25% higher than last year, as a result of a 31% sales increase by the RV segment. This segment accounted for 86% of consolidated net sales in the quarter. RV segment sales growth was largely due to a 21% increase in industrywide wholesale shipments of travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Drew’s primary RV market. Sales of recently introduced RV products and motorhome components also increased, as did sales to adjacent industries.

Drew reported that in January 2013, consolidated net sales reached approximately $85 million, 28% higher than in January 2012, as a result of continued solid growth in the company’s RV segment. Drew estimates that industrywide production of towable RVs increased about 20% in January 2013.

Net sales for the year increased by $220 million to a record $901 million. Acquisitions added approximately $60 million to 2012 net sales. Sales growth in new markets and new products were also key factors enabling Drew’s sales to exceed industry growth rates. Key additions to the company’s RV product lines in recent years include advanced leveling devices, in-wall slide-out systems and awnings. Together, net sales of these products reached $65 million in 2012.

For the full year, Drew’s net income increased to $37.3 million, or $1.64 per diluted share, up from net income of $30.1 million, or $1.34 per diluted share, in 2011. Excluding charges related to executive succession, net income would have been $38.3 million in 2012, or $1.68 per diluted share.

The company’s content per travel trailer and fifth-wheel in 2012 increased by $365 to $2,713, or 16% greater than in 2011. Content per motorhome RV reached $1,071 in 2012, an increase of 68% over 2011.

“Our solid sales gains, along with favorable RV industry fundamentals, are encouraging,” said Fred Zinn, Drew’s president and CEO. “In the 2012 fourth quarter our operating profit margin before executive succession charges, while higher than last year, did not improve enough. Labor efficiencies improved at several key production facilities. However, this improvement was offset by the cost of implementing facility consolidations and improving production processes, as well as refinements to the calculation of our warranty accrual, and other transitory cost increases. We are confident in our ability to achieve profit improvement, particularly in the second half of 2013, as these costs return to more normal levels, and as the bottom-line impact of the efficiency improvements that have been implemented gains momentum.”

“The steps we have taken are enabling our production lines to be more efficient,” said Jason Lippert, currently CEO of Lippert Components and Kinro who will will take over as CEO of Drew in May while Scott Mereness will serve as president. “During the quarter we consolidated and realigned production of several key product lines, including furniture, manufactured housing and RV windows, chassis and thermoforming, and continued to benefit from and expand our lean manufacturing initiatives. While these efforts cost us $2 million in the 2012 fourth quarter, they are continuing to make us more efficient. Also, in the 2012 fourth quarter we retained more of our seasonal workforce than typical, ending the year with 5,200 employees. We spent the last 12 months building and training our workforce, so that we can minimize hiring and training costs as demand ramps up in early 2013.”

Drew will provide an online, real-time webcast of its fourth quarter 2012 earnings conference call on the company’s website, www.drewindustries.com, today at 11 a.m. Eastern. The call can also be accessed at www.companyboardroom.com.

To view the full report click here.

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Drew Executives Realigned; HQ Moving to Ind.

February 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc. announced today (Feb. 12) that President and CEO Fred Zinn will retire, effective May 10. Jason Lippert, who currently serves as chairman and CEO of subsidiaries Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., will take over as CEO of Drew while Scott Mereness will serve as president and COO.

According to a news release, this transition is the result of a comprehensive succession process initiated by Drew’s board in 2011.

Drew also announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters from White Plains, N.Y., to Elkhart County, Ind. – the location of the corporate headquarters for Lippert and Kinro, and where more than 80% of all RVs produced in the U.S. are manufactured.

The company said that consolidating Drew’s corporate functions with its Indiana-based manufacturing operations will be “both cost-effective and result in an even greater exchange of ideas and expertise between Drew’s management team and executives across the RV and manufactured housing industries.”

Zinn, who will turn 62 in March, has been an executive officer since 1986, serving as president and a director since 2008 and as CEO since 2009. While Zinn will not stand for re-election as a director, he will serve as a consultant to Drew through 2013.

Jason Lippert

Lippert, 40, has served as chairman and CEO of Lippert Components and Kinro, and as a director of Drew, for the past six years, and will continue in these positions. Lippert has held various executive positions at Lippert Components and Kinro since 1998.

Mereness, 41, will continue to serve as president of Lippert and Kinro, as he has since 2010, while assuming his new duties with Drew. He has held various executive positions at Lippert and Kinro since 2001.

Chairman Leigh J. Abrams stated, “Fred has been Drew’s CEO through very challenging times, including the ‘Great Recession,’ and he has helped guide our strong growth that followed. In the past four years, Drew has generated over $200 million in operating cash flow, enabling the company to complete 13 acquisitions, pay nearly $80 million in special dividends to stockholders, and still close 2012 with no debt. The board is grateful for the substantial contributions Fred has made to Drew for more than 30 years, first as CFO and then during his distinguished tenure as CEO and a director.”

Abrams continued, “This carefully conceived leadership transition brings Jason Lippert and Scott Mereness to Drew’s top executive positions. Both these executives are highly experienced, and they have the vision, energy and ability to lead the company through its next phase of growth.”

Zinn stated, “I have been privileged and proud to work for this vibrant company. After more than three decades with Drew Industries, it’s time to transfer Drew’s executive responsibilities to a new generation. Jason is an exceptionally talented leader, and he has been key to the company’s success. Since he assumed an executive role more than a decade ago, Drew’s market share has grown consistently and significantly. Jason has gained the respect of business executives throughout the industries we serve. He has developed an outstanding team of executives with proven leadership capabilities and extensive experience in our industries.”

Lippert noted, “We will continue our strategic initiatives to enhance Drew’s cash flow and profitability. We intend to accomplish this by providing the highest quality products and superior service, both to our existing customers, and to new customers in the adjacent markets we have been developing in accordance with our ongoing strategic planning process. We have always provided our customers with products that add value and offer innovative solutions to their business needs. It is essential that we maintain our outstanding reputation among both our customers and the investment community.”

He added, “Scott Mereness has provided Drew with exceptional operational leadership for more than a decade. Scott and I have worked closely together for over 15 years, with an emphasis on attracting and developing the best possible talent for every aspect of the company. Together with our extraordinary management team and dedicated employees, Scott and I will continue to develop strategic plans to benefit Drew, including our stockholders, employees and customers.”

Other moves include:

• Joseph S. Giordano III, 44, CFO and treasurer of Drew since 2008 and corporate controller from 2003 to 2008, will relocate to Indiana and continue to serve in his current positions. “For the past decade, Joe has played a crucial role in our success,” said Abrams, “and we are delighted that we can continue to rely on his broad knowledge and experience.”

• Harvey F. Milman, 71, who has served as general counsel then chief legal officer of Drew since 1969, will retire, effective July 31. Milman will continue to serve as a consultant to Drew through 2014. “On behalf of the board, we are most grateful for the advice and counsel Harvey has provided us over the years,” stated Abrams. Milman will be succeeded by Robert A. Kuhns, 47. For the past 13 years Kuhns was a partner in the corporate group at the Minneapolis offices of Dorsey & Whitney, a full-service global law firm. Kuhns has extensive experience with a broad range of corporate, acquisition and securities matters.

As a result of Drew’s leadership transition and corporate relocation, the company will record a pre-tax charge of approximately $3.3 million, including $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, and the balance in the first and second quarters of 2013, related to contractual obligations for severance and the acceleration of equity awards. Upon completion of the transition, the company will save an estimated $2 million annually in general and administrative costs.

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Roan Joins LCI Window Unit’s Leadership Team

January 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Lippert Components Inc (LCI) announced that Josh Roan has been promoted to the senior leadership team for the window division, based in Goshen, Ind.

According to a press release, Roan has worked in the RV industry for over 17 years. For the past 10 years he oversaw divisions for Lippert and sister company Kinro Inc., including managing LCI’s largest chassis division in Goshen as well as its specialty products division.

In his new position, Roan will help lead 955 employees producing an average of 8,000 RV windows in any given day.

“Josh is one of the strongest managers we have,” said Scott Mereness, president of LCI. “He has proven himself in multiple situations with outstanding leadership and team building skills.”

Roan noted, “One of my goals moving forward is to exceed customer expectations. I plan on growing and leading the very best team in the industry here at our Indiana window division.”

Roan will also oversee several new initiatives in the coming months. Due in early 2013 is equipment for a second glass tempering and processing facility that when installed will add 63,000 additional square feet of glass and window manufacturing space, effectively doubling Kinro’s current glass tempering capabilities.

“With the addition of manufacturing space and investments in equipment, as well as the addition of dedicated leaders such as Josh to our window operations, we will be well positioned to meet our increasing customer demand for windows,” said Mereness.

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Lippert Adding Motorized Engineering Liaison

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced that Dana Gehman has been named as motorized engineering manager. According to a press release, Gehman has been hired to “better serve the unique requirements of the motorized RV industry” for Lippert and sister company Kinro Inc.

Gehman comes to LCI/Kinro with 23 years experience at Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. Most recently he worked with Fleetwood’s motorized division and oversaw the development of motorhome “hulls,” which is essentially everything above the floor of the RV.

“Dana understands the engineering behind motorized RVs, and more importantly, how many of our products interrelate with motorhome construction,” says Andy Murray, vice president of RV sales for LCI and Kinro. “Dana will be the central point of engineering contact for our motorized customers, and will work with our existing engineering teams to support our entire catalog of motorhome products including slideouts, leveling systems, windows and electronics.

“We recognize the needs of our motorized customers are somewhat unique compared to our traditional customer base, so Dana will be a critical part of our strategy to provide the best products and service in the motorized industry.”

Gehman noted, “I’m excited to bring almost 25 years of innovative product development and problem solving experience, from folding trailers to motorhomes, to Lippert Components and its customers.”

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