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Drew’s profits driven higher in ’12 as RV sector rumbles

Keywords: Tags  Drew Industries, Fred Zinn, Jason Lippert, Lippert Components, Kinro, earnings report, RVs, manufactured homes motorhomes

CHICAGO — Drew Industries Inc.’s earnings surged in 2012 as the company posted record sales thanks to a strong showing in the recreational vehicle (RV) sector and expansions into new markets.

"Our solid sales gains, along with favorable RV-industry fundamentals, are encouraging," Drew president and chief executive officer Fred Zinn said in a statement released with its 2012 earnings Feb. 20.

The White Plains, N.Y.-based supplier of components for the RV and manufactured homes market posted net income of $37.3 million last year, up 24.2 percent from $30.1 million in 2011 on sales that surged 32.3 percent to $901.1 million. Fourth-quarter net income of $4.7 million was 16.1 percent higher than $4.1 million in the same period a year earlier on a 25.5-percent jump in sales to $200.2 million.

The record full-year sales came in part thanks to acquisitions that added $60 million to net sales as well as growth in new markets, the company said.

Also bolstering results was a strong showing from Drew’s RV segment, which benefited from a 21-percent gain in industrywide wholesale shipments of travel trailers and fifth-wheel RVs, Drew’s primary RV markets. Sales of new RV products and motorhome components also were up, the company said.

Drew said its content per travel trailer and fifth-wheel RV increased to $2,713 per vehicle in 2012, up 15.5 percent from $2,348 in 2011, and its content per motorhome RV jumped 67.9 percent to $1,071 from $638 in the same comparison, but its content per manufactured home declined 1.9 percent to $1,465 from $1,493.

Results were dented by a fourth-quarter after-tax charge of $900,000 related to a management change. Zinn plans to retire in May, with Jason Lippert, chairman and chief executive officer of subsidiaries Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro, set to succeed him (, Feb. 13).

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