White Plains, N.Y.-based Drew Industries Inc., parent to recreational vehicle and manufactured housing suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., posted first-quarter sales that eclipsed any quarter in the company’s history.
According to the company, revenue increased 32% to $224 million in the first quarter, ended March 31, compared with $169 million the year prior. The sales growth, boosted by recent acquisitions, was primarily the result of a 34% sales increase by Drew’s RV segment. The RV segment accounted for 87% of Drew’s consolidated net sales.
Net income during the quarter was $11.1 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9.4 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, a year ago.
“Over the past few months, retail demand in the RV industry has improved,” said Fred Zinn, Drew’s president and CEO. “Despite continued concerns about high unemployment and slower economic growth in the U.S., industry-wide retail sales of travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs increased more than 6% for the three months ended February 2012, compared to the year-earlier period. Although the RV industry is sensitive to economic conditions, we are optimistic about the potential for long-term growth in retail demand for RVs.”
Jason Lippert, CEO of Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components and Kinro, added, “As we expected, the acquisitions we completed and the new products we introduced over the past two years added substantially to our sales growth in our core markets and adjacent markets in the first quarter of 2012. This sales growth, combined with significant increases in industry-wide production of both RVs and manufactured homes, was a great start for the year.”
Drew reported that sales growth continued in April 2012, reaching approximately $80 million, 34% higher than in April 2011. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, Drew’s net sales for April 2012 were up approximately 22%. Sales orders for May have remained strong.
As anticipated, the company’s operating margin improved in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, which was impacted by higher material costs, higher production costs in one product line and start-up and integration costs.
Drew will provide an online, real-time webcast and rebroadcast of its first quarter 2012 earnings conference at www.drewindustries.com today at 11 a.m. Eastern. Individual investors can also listen to the call at www.companyboardroom.com.
To view the entire report click here.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) completed several key acquisitions and new product introductions during 2011 and early 2012 that positioned the company to expand into new markets. In turn, the company also began manufacturing aluminum extrusions at a 300,000 square-foot facility in Elkhart, which is currently running three presses and has the capacity to expand further.
“One of the key developments for Lippert in 2011 was the addition of Lippert Extrusions,” said LCI President Scott Mereness in a press release. “We launched this operation to meet both our internal needs for extruded aluminum, and to service the larger Midwestern market.”
Recent growth by LCI included greater market penetration into the cargo, truck cap, horse, livestock and other specialty trailer industries. Its new aluminum extrusion facility will produce parts for all its products sold to those industries. Mereness explained that Lippert Extrusions would help to open new markets and be part of the growth engine for Lippert Components and its sister company, Kinro Inc., over the next five years.
“Adding the extrusions plant was not only good vertical integration, but also enables us to sell a significant portion of the plant’s output to new outside markets,” Mereness said. “As we add capacity, we will be able to sell quality aluminum extrusions to manufacturers and assemblers we have never reached before. Any manufacturer in need of high quality aluminum extrusions is now our potential customer.”
Lippert noted that all scrap from the extrusion process is recycled into aluminum raw material for reuse. In addition, the powder coat process used by Lippert Extrusions is environmentally friendly and more durable and scratch resistant than liquid paint.
For more information, call (574) 535-1125 or visit www.lippertcomponents.com.
Patrick Industries Inc., a supplier of building and component products for the recreational vehicle manufactured housing and industrial markets, reported growth in sales and earnings for the Elkhart, Ind.-based company’s first quarter ended April 1.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $102.7 million compared to $69.5 million in the same quarter of 2011, an increase of $33.2 million or 47.8%. The sales increase reflected a 57% increase in the company’s revenue from the RV industry and a 36% increase in revenue from the MH industry, which represented approximately 69% and 18% of first quarter 2012 sales, respectively.
Approximately $11.6 million of the revenue improvement was attributable to acquisitions completed since June 2011, with the remaining $21.6 million increase primarily attributable to increased RV market penetration, improved residential cabinet and furniture business in the industrial market, and a 10% increase in quarterly wholesale unit shipments in the RV industry.
Patrick post net income of $5 million or 47 cents per diluted share, an increase of $6.2 million or 60 cents per diluted share, over the net loss of $1.2 million or $0.13 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2011. First quarter 2012 net income included a non-cash charge of $1.7 million or $0.16 per diluted share related to mark-to-market accounting for common stock warrants. The first quarter 2011 net loss was impacted by non-cash charges related to the refinancing of Patrick’s former credit facility.
“We are pleased and energized by our improved first quarter revenue growth and profitability as we are realizing many of the benefits of strategic and operational initiatives executed over the past three years as well as the sacrifices, commitment, and dedication of our team members,” said Todd Cleveland, president and CEO. “Our acquisition initiatives have contributed to our overall profitability and we believe the addition of key team members to the Patrick organization will continue to provide ongoing benefits as we continually focus on bringing value-added innovative products and services to our customers.”
To view the full report click here.
NTP Distribution Inc. today (April 23) announced the opening of a new shipping warehouse within Keystone Automotive’s Kansas City, Mo., distribution center on April 30. Similar to NTP’s recent opening and moves in Exeter, Pa., Corona, Calif., and Austell, Ga., RV products will occupy a section of this 250,000-square-foot facility.
The company also announced it will be closing its distribution center in Elkhart, Ind. Customers who had been serviced from Elkhart will receive service starting April 25 out of NTP’s Exeter, Atlanta or Kansas City distribution centers. The company said this will coincide with a significant increase in the number of customers receiving next-day fleet service on their orders as a result of Keystone acquiring NTP last October.
“As we’ve said since we became a part of Keystone, we’re all about growth,” said Greg Boyd, president of Wilsonville, Ore.-based NTP. “This is just another step in our ability to service our customers better, allowing us to penetrate areas like the Great Plains states and Colorado with improved delivery services.”
“Our goal is to continue to provide our customers with the best service in the industry. We have taken special measures to avoid disruption in service while we make the transition,” said Sean Hennessy, director of operations for NTP.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp., a major, long-time supplier for the RV industry, has announced its intent to enter the marine market. Directed by its Seal Design affiliate, this expansion will bring a range of new components and aftermarket offerings to marine manufacturers and dealers, including a number of products Dicor recently introduced to the RV market.
According to a press release, Dicor’s initial product offerings include new, more durable and easier to apply sealants, deck hardware, new floor and furnishing options, and new motorized or manual Sun Screen roller shades.
“We knew when we released these products for RVs that many of them would crossover very well into marine applications,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Corp. “With the economy slowly reviving, marine manufacturers are looking to upgrade their offerings to bring back customers. We thought this would be an optimum time to help them do that. It’s the next step in a number of steps we’ve taken lately to grow our business.”
“We’ve been studying the marine market for some time,” said Greg Kelly, general manager of Seal Design. “And that is one of the first things the industry needs to know about us. We do our homework. We have high standards. All our products are proven and tested before going to market. And once they are sold, we’re still around to help. We do everything we can to make sure manufacturers have a successful experience in installing the product, that dealers have a successful experience in selling it, and that consumers have a better boating experience for using it.
He added, “That means we provide a lot of ‘back door’ engineering help with things like production efficiency and inventory control as they relate to our offerings. We pride ourselves on pro-active and timely service, and in aggressively seeking out solutions for our customers. That’s been at the heart of our success for more than 25 years in the RV industry, and it will be the heart of our success with the boating community.”
Among Dicor’s marine offerings will be a number of flexible table options from the company’s Dicor Products affiliate that allow for comfortable but space-saving seating in tight cabin areas. From its United Shade affiliate, Dicor is offering some of the recent trends in window coverings for both aftermarket and manufacturer sales.
Seal Design also brings its line of automotive and residential quality sealants along with Dicor’s TPO flooring. Seal Design’s SealTite hot melt caulk replacement and Touch-N-Seal polyurethane sprayed foam system not only provide tighter, more durable seals, but also simplify and improve manufacturing application.
For more information about Dicor Corp.and its affiliated companies, visit www.dicor.com.
Lippert Components Inc. announced it has expanded the network of installation sites for its Level Up hydraulic leveling systems to include 11 RV dealerships.
According to a press release, the Goshen, Ind.-based supplier introduced Level Up two years ago featuring a six-point automatic hydraulic system that can be operated with the touch of a button.
To support the growing certified dealer network for Level Up and other products supporting the mobile lifestyle, Lippert Components has updated its website, www.lci1.com, to add improved site navigation and additional information about all of the industry segments the company serves – along with a dealer locator. Additional sales support is available to dealers in the form of touch-screen video kiosks that consumers can access to learn more about the features and benefits of Level Up.
Tony Downing, who heads up dealer business development for Lippert Components, was enthusiastic about the sales. “The kiosks were big hits at the Florida RV Super Show in Tampa in January,” Downing said. “I had the kiosks on display in the Lazy Days’ display selling aftermarket installations. I did another show in Quartzsite, Ariz., in January, and another at the Detroit RV Show working with General RV selling aftermarket installations, both meeting with success.”
“We give our certified dealers the tools necessary to succeed,” concluded Jason Lippert. “Level Up is a well documented product and a respected brand – in fact it’s the number one fifth wheel leveling system on the market today.”
Dealers wishing to join the Level Up certified dealer network can call (574) 537-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once certified, they will be added to the Level Up dealer locator on the Lippert website, www.lci1.com.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) and Kinro, Inc., subsidiaries of Drew Industries Inc., announced today (March 15) that its employee base has grown to 4,541 employees nationwide.
According to a press release, this represents an increase of over 15% – or 750 workers since August of 2011 – for one of the largest suppliers to the RV, manufactured housing and specialty trailer industries. In the last month alone the company grew by 110 employees. Much of the company’s increase in employment is in Indiana’s Elkhart County, of the hardest hit regions in the country affected by the recession.
“The high rate of growth that Lippert Components and Kinro has experienced is not only due to recent acquisitions, but also due to an increase in market share in various product lines such as our entry door, specialty trailer components, motorized chassis stretching, awning and slideout mechanisms,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components. “Our growth is also due to our ‘get it done’ culture and our ability to work with the OEMs we serve to solve manufacturing problems with custom solutions and innovations. Lippert Components and Kinro will continue to add the best people to better service our customers. We understand that fulfilling our products with little or no lead times is part of our legacy of supplier excellence.”
The press release stated that with the expansion of so many new products, Lippert Components and Kinro are “dedicating significant assets toward the customer service and warranty sector of their business to better serve new customers on the OEM, dealer and consumer levels.”
“We realize as one of the largest suppliers in the industry, our customers expect the best service,” said Jason Lippert. “We are aggressively seeking experienced customer service and warranty professionals to help us with this anticipated expansion. In the coming months we are also planning to add more service bays to better service our customers. Our goal is to exceed our customer expectations. Further, we are looking for the best and brightest in welding, manufacturing, operations management and logistics.”
Experienced individuals in customer service and warranty, welding, manufacturing, operations management and logistics should send a resume with work experience to Human Resources Department, Lippert Components, Inc., 2703 College Ave., Goshen, Ind., 46528. Downloadable employment applications are also available online at www.LCI1.com by clicking on “Company” and then “Employee Services.”
Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway launched a new web-based marketing tool called DesignOnline at its 2012 Business Solutions show this January in Las Vega.
According to a press release, dealers attending “RV University” learned how to customize their own spring cleaning postcards and ConsumerLink sales flyers with custom coupons, imprints and sales messages.
“Dealers have been asking us to give them a tool that lets them select their own products, prices and sales dates so they can run promotions any time of the year,” said Linda Scott, director of marketing services. “Since last summer, we have been developing a new tool with our printing partner, QuadGraphics, so dealers can easily create, track, and manage their own promotions while providing consistent branding and messaging to their customers – all in one location.”
Creating a campaign on DesignOnline can be done in five steps:
1) Select a format (i.e. postcard, flyer, etc.).
2) Personalize the content.
3) Select recipients (mailing list).
4) Enter delivery date.
5) Confirm design and submit for printing.
“It takes less than 10 minutes for a dealer to log into DesignOnline, select a design template, personalize the content, upload a mailing list, order print quantities, and choose a delivery date,” Scott said.
Each dealership also gets their own free image library where images are stored. Images can be reused or used in other custom designs, saving design time and money, according to Stag-Parkway. In addition, dealers can create, upload, approve, edit, delete and store their images online.
DesignOnline is being rolled out in three phases. Last summer, Phase I was rolled out to more than 650 dealers who used DesignOnline for the first time to review, edit and approve their catalog imprints. Phase 2 is being developed now to give dealers flyer templates for selecting their own products and prices, and additional postcard templates. These new templates are scheduled to be available late spring. Beginning this summer, dealers will be able to order their 2013 catalogs on DesignOnline including designing their own imprints and getting a preview of their imprints on any of the 4-color covers designed by Stag-Parkway.
Phase 3 will include e-mail templates so dealers can create their own e-marketing promotions, posters, online list rental acquisitions, and enhancements to the user interface.
“We’re encouraged by the number of dealers already using DesignOnline and they’ve been giving us great feedback that we plan to incorporate in the near future,” says Scott. “The beauty of DesignOnline is that it gives dealers the flexibility to design their own publications very quickly and saves them a tremendous amount of design time and money. This new tool puts the dealer in the driver’s seat where they control the sales message they want to send.”
For more information, contact Linda Scott, Director of Marketing Services at 404.349.1918, ext. 2247, or email Linda.email@example.com.
S&H Metal Products Inc., a manufacturer of sheet metal products, announced plans today to expand its operations in Topeka, Ind. According to a press release the move could create up to 18 new jobs by 2015.
The company, which produces both galvanized and aluminum sheet metal for the RV industry, will purchase new computer numerical control equipment to fabricate new designs for the company’s custom line of sheet metal products and components.
“Northern Indiana’s prominence as an epicenter for the RV industry is further strengthened with S&H’s expansion plans,” said Dan Hasler, secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC). “Our low-tax business climate encourages sustainable growth for companies and promotes more jobs for Hoosiers.”
S&H, which currently employs 20 full-time associates in Topeka, Ind., has already begun hiring additional handling, operating and transportation associates.
“We expanded our operations in Topeka because LaGrange County has some of the best workers in the world,” said Fritz Helmuth, founder and president of S&H Metal Products. “Our location in the heart of the RV industry gives us a competitive edge for our business.”
Founded in 1972 by Helmuth, the company started operations as a manufacturer of light-galvanized fabrication parts for the RV and modular home industries. S&H specializes in the ‘just in time’ production strategy to provide RV manufacturers with parts on an as needed basis.
The IEDC offered S&H Metal Products up to $150,000 in conditional tax credits 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 Topeka Town Council initially approved additional property tax abatement at the request of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. (LCED).
“We are grateful for the investment by S&H Metal into their facility in Topeka,” said Yvonne Eash, president of the Topeka Town Council. “They are a valued long-term employer in our community.”
S&H’s recent expansion joins the growing list of jobs announcements in northern Indiana’s manufacturing industry. Just last week, Supreme Industries Inc., a full-line manufacturer of customized truck bodies, announced plans to expand its operations in nearby Elkhart County, investing $7.71 million and creating up to 350 new jobs by 2015.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Yellow Dog Extrusion, a supplier to the RV industry, is looking to open a new plant in an empty industrial building. Inside INdiana Business reported that the move would create an estimated 35 jobs.
Parent company Patrick Metals in Mishawaka says Yellow Dog hopes to have the plant open by mid-May. The Elkhart Board of Public Works has approved a wastewater discharge permit for the facility.
Yellow Dog hopes to ultimately fill three shifts and employ up to 125 people at the new plant.
According to the company’s website, Yellow Dog produces exterior and interior moldings along with “standard structural shapes” for the RV industry. Services include aluminum extrusion, roll formed products, anodizing powder coating and CNC machining.
Lakewood, Colo.-based Hatchlift, a manufacturer of aftermarket hydraulic door lift kits for RV storage compartment doors, recently added bedlift kits and replacement springs to their product lineup.
According to a press release, the bedlift kits are complete retrofit kits and include “everything necessary to properly install hydraulic lifts on the RV bed.” The company said that installation instructions are straightforward and easy to execute, allowing for installation by an RV owner in about 30 minutes requiring a drill and common hand tools.
“The request for RV bedlift kits and replacement springs was so great, the company decided to add both products beginning in 2012,” said the company owner. “We offered the bedlift kits and replacement springs at the RV Show at Quartzsite and sold out in the first day.”
The family owned company is in its second year of operation was recently the focus of a product spotlight by Gary Bunzer, the “RV Doctor.” To view the segment click here. For additional information visit www.hatchlift.com.
In July, 2010, MCD Innovations moved its corporate and manufacturing headquarters to a new 9.6-acre campus in McKinney, Texas. Now, according to a news release, the RV shade supplier is expanding again to keep pace with demand.
The company reported that the first stage of the planned expansion was recently completed, doubling the production capacity for MCD shades.
“When the current expansion is completed, we will be in position to be one of the largest, if not the largest, roller shade manufacturers in the entire world,” said Travis Townsley, senior RV market manager, noting that MCD has been selected for inclusion as Original Equipment (OEM) in over 24 major brands of RVs. “We will be positioned to continue to meet the ever increasing demand from OEMs, dealers and individuals, as well as new markets.”
With this first expansion stage, MCD increased its in-house machine shop area and added several new state-of-the-art pieces of equipment including a 4th-axis CNC milling machine. MCD said it also enhanced its 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week automated testing stations, which “utilize computers and PLC controls to ensure that the highest level of performance possible is built into every motorized shade produced by MCD.”
Further, the company enlarged the fabrication department and added several new pieces of equipment and applicable personnel to accommodate the increased demand for the installation of products at their headquarters in McKinney.
“I am a firm believer in the ingenuity of American workers and the ability of American companies to compete with oversees manufacturing companies,” said MCD Innovations CEO Dave Townsley. “At MCD, we are committed to the ‘Made in USA’ philosophy. Our research and innovation team is continually developing new products and even better manufacturing processes for our MCD Shades. I believe in continuing to raise the bar and am constantly challenging our dedicated employees. This ensures that MCD produces the very best products possible every day. This new expansion will allow our team to design, prototype and build more and more exciting, new shade systems right here in McKinney, Texas, USA.”
Long-time towing product supplier Blue Ox was among four Nebraska companies recently recognized at the White House for achievements in rural manufacturing, using Department of Agriculture rural development lending.
The Journal Star, Lincoln, reported that Pender-based Blue Ox was joined by three other Nebraska manufacturers, including Thurston Manufacturing Co., Allmand Brothers Inc. and MetalQuest Unlimited Inc.
First National Bank of Omaha provided the loan to Blue Ox, guaranteed by USDA Rural Development. The company diversified its focus and developed heavy-duty tow bars for the defense industry.
Blue Ox is known internationally for its quality towing products, from tow bars and baseplates, to steering control systems, supplementary brakes, carriers, weight distributing and gooseneck. Towing brands include the Tailgator and SwayPro.
Wichita, Kan.-based RV industry supplier Airxcel Inc. set up shop this week (Feb. 13-16) in Coast Distribution System Inc.’s Husky Towing Products Research, Design & Training facility on the east side of the RV-building center of Elkhart, Ind., to present their 2012 product lines to northern Indiana RV manufacturers. “It gives us an opportunity to get product managers, product development people, owners and procurement people together all at once, which is great,” reports Pierre Briglio, vice president of sales and marketing. Briglio said he appreciated the use of the facility operated by California-based Coast, exclusive distributor for Airxcel’s Coleman-Mach RV air conditioners, which Airxcel and its predecessor company, RV Products, have been making since 1967. While in town, Airxcel — also known for its Suburban-brand furnaces, ranges, cooktops and water heaters — was also talking up a new series of low-profile, Coleman-Mach 8 air conditioners. The Coleman-Mach 8, due for a spring introduction, is only eight inches high. And it’s not only the new air conditioner’s size that 950-employee Airxcel is promoting, but also the fact that it – unlike some of its newest competitors – is domestically made. “We never went to China,” said Briglio, whose firm operates manufacturing facilities in Wichita, Dayton, Tenn., and Cordele, Ga. “We build everything (in terms of air conditioners) in Wichita, Kan., and we’re proud of it. Coleman has a good name – the Coleman-Mach air conditioner and Suburban products – and we are from the United States of America.”
To keep up with growing OEM sales, MaxxAir Vent Corp. has added Chuck Bennett to its sales force. According to a press release, Bennett comes to the company with 14 years of sales experience in regional sales management, telecommunications and luxury motor coach sales.
“Chuck brings a wealth of knowledge that we will use to develop and implement sales strategies and quickly establish market presence,” said MaxxAir president Allen Thomas. “We’re glad he’s part of our team.”
“MaxxAir is a well-respected company providing ventilation products to the RV aftermarket,” said Bennett. “I will be working to bring that same success to the OEM segment of the RV industry. Our cutting-edge MaxxFan ventilators open up a whole new front for MaxxAir that is both exciting and challenging.”
For more information on MaxxAir products visit www.maxxair.com.