FOREST CITY — Forest City-based Winnebago Industries saw a slight decrease in revenues for their fourth quarter and Fiscal Year 2019, but the company’s CEO is remaining positive about the future.
Revenues for the fourth quarter ending August 31st were $530.4 million, just over a one-percent decrease compared to $536.2 million for the same period a year ago. Fiscal Year 2019 revenues were $1.99 billion, a one-and-a-half percent decrease from $2.02 billion in Fiscal 2018.
Michael Happe says he was pleased with the Fiscal Year despite some challenges for the outdoor lifestyle product company. “In 2019, our annual revenues of $2 billion, a record net income of $112 million, and RV share gains were truly remarkable considering the headwinds: tariffs, trade constraints, economic uncertainty, reckless partisan politics, etc., that challenged the industry this year. As notable as those results were, they were only made possible because of the outstanding contributions from all of our hard-working Winnebago Industries employees, nearly 4700 of them.”
Happe says among the future goals for the company is to strengthen and expand their core RV business. “During the fiscal year, we introduced our ‘Bound by the W’ brand campaign on our flagship Winnebago brand, drove market share growth in our Class B line, and dramatically improved the interiors of our Class A and Class C motorized product. Together, with our pending acquisition of Newmar, we will soon have a more complete motor home business — larger, more profitable, significant presence in all motorized sub-segments, and a stronger share of lot with the premium RV dealers in North America.”
Happe says their Winnebago and Grand Design brands continue to form an increasingly compelling dual-brand platform, offering a much-needed balance to the company’s legacy motorhome business. “For the second consecutive year, Winnebago Industries, led predominantly by Grand Design, has outperformed the industry as it relates to organic gains in towables market share. Over the past three years, our consolidated full line RV retail market share has risen from under 3% to almost 10% with significant runway and potential ahead of us.”
It’s the first full fiscal year that the iconic boat brand Chris-Craft has been under the Winnebago flag. Happe says Chris-Craft continued to outpace their expectations for the business with sales growth and demand being strong. “Although consumer demand within the broader boating market has been somewhat inconsistent, Chris-Craft’s premium brand continues to resonate with customers. As we look ahead, we are excited about executing our growth plan for the business, which includes driving new product development and organic growth, improving manufacturing efficiencies and expanding our reach with strong dealer partners in supporting Chris-Craft’s growth with improved marketing efforts.”
Winnebago Industries announced in September that they were in the process of purchasing Indiana-based motorhome manufacturer Newmar so they can expand into high-priced, luxury RVs.