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.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced that its Level Up automatic RV leveling system is now offered with wireless remote control.
“Our wireless remote systems have been well received for several years,” said LCI Vice President of Sales Andy Murray. “Our customers requested that we integrate this wireless technology into our leveling systems, and now several RV brands are using the product.”
“Any RV OEM already using our wireless remote system, Linc, for their RVs can now connect it to work seamlessly with Level Up,” continued Murray. “For those who don’t have an existing wireless remote, and want to add one to their Level Up system only, we can provide that stand alone capability as well.”
Level Up is a four-point or six-point automatic leveling system that comes as an option or standard on more than two dozen RV brands. The system levels an RV in less than a minute using a one-touch auto-leveling feature, and includes an auto rehitch memory function that remembers the exact height at which the RV was unhitched. Wireless capability allows users to walk around the unit while leveling and pause the leveling sequence if necessary.
“The industry is moving more towards automatic leveling for travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Drew Industries Inc., LCI’s parent company. “We’re finding that many OEMs are turning to LCI and Level Up as their choice to meet growing consumer demand. As an industry leader in leveling products, we will continue to innovate to ensure we are producing the best leveling systems.”
Since Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC adopted Lippert Component’s Inc.’s Level Up automatic hydraulic leveling system in January 2013 as an option on its new Sundance travel trailer brand, every unit sold has been built with the Level Up system.
“We were looking for some key features that would set the Sundance trailer apart from other brands, and we felt the automatic hydraulic leveling was one way to do that,” said Heartland Vice President of Sales Coley Brady in a press release. “The response has been outstanding.”
Heartland General Manager Paul Craven noted, “Level Up has played an important part in the launch of the new Sundance travel trailer.”
LCI CEO Jason Lippert points out that “the RV industry is moving more towards automatic leveling for travel trailers and fifth-wheels. We’re finding that OEMs are turning to LCI and Level Up to meet consumer demand.”
LCI’s reported that average weekly sales of Level Up systems have grown 65% in the past year.
“At one time, automatic leveling was something found only on high-end units such as expensive luxury fifth-wheel RVs,” said LCI Vice President of Sales Andy Murray. “But now customers want leveling upgrades on less expensive fifth-wheel and travel trailer RVs. OEMs are looking to our Level Up system to fulfill this demand.”
Level Up is a four-point or six-point automatic hydraulic leveling system designed to quickly and safely level an RV with only the touch of a button and comes with an auto re-hitch memory function that remembers the exact height at which the RV was unhitched.
To watch a video offering a rundown of the features and benefits of the Level Up system click here.
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) reports that all welders in its M-Tec specialty and motorized chassis manufacturing facility have been certified.
According to a press release, 62 M-Tec welders are certified in gas metal arc welding. Ten additional employees were specially certified to inspect and monitor processes for consistent quality work.
Employees participated in rigorous classroom and hands-on training through Bumgarner Welding and Inspection Inc. in the certification program.
“By establishing and maintaining this level of quality, we separate ourselves from the competition as we supply our customers with products, which we believe are unequaled,” said M-Tec General Manager David DeVon.
Vice President of Operations Jason Falk added, “We are excited to distinguish ourselves and offer another great selling point for our customers.”
M-Tec was acquired by LCI in 2011 and specializes in upper chassis upfits, wheel base modification, driveshaft manufacturing, steel and aluminum fabrication and axle spring upgrades.
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced it has acquired certain assets and the engineering team of Midstates Tool & Die & Engineering Inc., a designer and builder of automated equipment, production tooling, progressive dies and one-hit stamping dies. According to a press release, the business will be operated as Lippert Automation, Tool and Die.
“The assets and people we’ve added from Midstates will help us design more efficient and consistent automation processes that are key in producing high quality products for our customers,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Drew Industries Inc., LCI’s parent company.
The former Midstates team offers decades of experience and provides additional support and expertise as a part of the LCI Steel Division, the release stated. The business also brings LCI several new customers, allowing the Steel Division to further diversify and expand its market reach.
Vice President of LCI Automation and Manufacturing Jeff Few believes the acquisition will help the Steel Division move to the next level. “Combining the seasoned specialists of Midstates with our automation and tool and die team will give us velocity as we further automate to increase productivity and quality,” he said.
Lippert expects the acquisition to drive the next phase of automation for LCI, noting, “The Midstates team has developed a strong reputation for quality workmanship, and we expect to build on that strength.”
“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” said Service Manager Matt Nead, who co-led the trip with Rich Furner in quality control, in a press release. “We are lucky to work for a company that cares about its people and the community.”
Despite the risk of additional tornadoes, the team drove the company RV to Oklahoma, taking with them $4,000 worth of supplies donated by the local DAV chapters of Elkhart, Goshen, Kokomo, Michigan City and Hammond. The team stayed in the RV at Antioch Christian Church, which helped organize relief efforts with sister churches and the Red Cross.
The LCI team worked two days at the Orr Family Farm ─ a large agri-education farm in Oklahoma City ─ where more than 100 horses were killed and buildings were demolished by the storm. The team moved piles of debris, cleared trees and junk from fence lines and prepared an area to become a memorial for pets lost in the devastating storms.
“Mr. Orr was ecstatic that we came back to help at the farm on the second day,” said Furner. “He was in tears, and we were proud we could help pave a path of recovery for his family business.”
Furner was astonished at the devastation they saw, noting, “I served during Iraqi Freedom and the Gulf War and I had never seen destruction as bad as what we saw in Oklahoma.”
Furner expressed his thanks to everyone who supported the team. “Because of the company’s support ─ starting with CEO Jason Lippert ─ we were able to do a lot of good work and help people through this difficult time.”
Visit redcross.org for details on how to donate money to help in the relief effort.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced that Chuck Bell has been promoted to vice president of chassis operations, according to a press release.
After 17 years in a leadership role at LCI, Bell is responsible for managing 1,400 employees at LCI’s Indiana-based chassis facilities that produce more than 200,000 RV frames annually.
“Chuck is a valuable member of the LCI leadership team,” said President Scott Mereness. “He knows the product and builds strong teams to produce products to our high standards.”
CEO Jason Lippert believes Bell will help lead these facilities to further growth in his new role, noting, “Chuck will do a fantastic job leading the chassis facilities and his teams to the next level of operations.”
Bell added, “We have the best team in the industry, and we are motivated to grow and perfect our operations. I want to thank our 1,400 employees who are committed to quality and meeting deadlines. It’s a blessing to work with our exceptional people.”
Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc. invited key executives, front-line management and staff from Lippert Components Inc. to a golf outing and reception at the Gulf Stream Country Club last Wednesday (June 5) to honor Lippert as its top supplier. “As our business has grown and production has accelerated, the people of Lippert – from top executives to front line managers and staff – have kept pace with our needs, providing innovative, top-quality products and responsive customer service,” Phil Sarvari, Gulf Stream executive vice president, said in a press release. Shown in the photo, Jeff Zumbrun, director of purchasing for Gulf Stream, expresses his appreciation to the Lippert staff prior to the afternoon’s activities. The group enjoyed golf on the Gulf Stream par three course adjacent to the company’s manufacturing facilities and a hearty cookout meal. Members of the group also took advantage of other recreational opportunities at the Country Club, including fishing in the waterways along the golf course. At the event Jason Lippert, chairman and CEO of Lippert parent Drew Industries Inc., noted, “We’re proud and honored to be working with a company with such a long legacy of providing outstanding RVs to Dealers and retail customers.”
A team of six employees from Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI) Plant 45 in Goshen, Ind. headed to Moore, Okla., today (May 29) in the company RV to assist in the tornado relief effort, according to a press release.
Rich Furner, who is in quality control, and Service Manager Matt Nead will lead the group as they partner with the local Red Cross and a church in Oklahoma to distribute food and supplies to victims of the disaster.
After seeing TV coverage of the massive Oklahoma storm that killed 24, flattened neighborhoods and destroyed an elementary school on May 20, Furner knew he wanted to help.
“I have always wanted to help out in these types of situations and never really had an opportunity,” he said. “I contacted our CEO, Jason Lippert, asking for support. He jumped on board right away.”
The Michiana community is joining LCI in the effort. Mishawaka Walmart employees collected supplies to send with the LCI relief team and the local DAV chapters of Elkhart, Goshen, Kokomo, Michigan City and Hammond together donated about $4,000 worth of needed supplies.
The LCI team will be staying in the company RV at Antioch Christian Church through June 3. The church is organizing efforts with sister churches closer to the disaster area, where the LCI team will assist in cleaning up debris and helping families recover personal belongings in the chaos.
Jake Lenhart, who coordinates work crews for Antioch, said it’s critical for volunteers like the LCI team to come. “When you pick up the debris, you are literally helping them pick up the pieces of their lives.”
Visit redcross.org for details on how to donate money to help in the relief effort.
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.