Winnebago Starts Fiscal New Year with Strong Earnings

Dec 20, 2017

What a difference a year makes for recreational vehicle maker Winnebago Industries. The Forest City-based manufacturer begins fiscal 2018 well ahead of its earnings for last year at this time.

A towable RV manufactured by Grand Design, a subsidiary of Winnebago Industries
Credit Grand Design Recreational Vehicles

Consolidated revenue at Winnebago for the first quarter ending November 25 was up 84 percent from the same period a year ago. Gross profit was up by more than 117 percent. The growth comes primarily from the company’s towable division, which is profiting from the purchase of Indiana-based Grand Design a little more than a year ago. Winnebago president and CEO Michael Happe says that move has led to huge bottom-line improvements.

“We are a healthier, larger, more profitable full-line RV competitor, with significantly more runway ahead of us,” he says.

Happe says he expects Winnebago to continue benefiting from renewed interest in outdoor recreation.

“While never completely certain, it does appear that near-term prospects for a ninth consecutive year of RV shipment growth in North America is not only possible, it’s probable,” he says.

Happe says Winnebago is adding manufacturing capacity to its Grand Design plant and anticipates an eight-figure investment in expansion of its towable business.