Despite decreased revenues, Winnebago Industries CEO still positive

EDEN PRAIRIE, MINNESOTA — The economy is having an impact on Winnebago Industries, but the company’s CEO is optimistic about the future.

The outdoor lifestyle products manufacturer with Iowa recreational vehicle factory locations in Forest City, Lake Mills, Charles City and Waverly reported revenues for the Fiscal Year 2023 third quarter ending on May 27th were $900.8 million, a 38% decrease compared to the same quarter last year. The company says the lower revenues were driven by lower unit sales related to retail market conditions.

Winnebago CEO Michael Happe says despite two straight quarters of declining revenues after starting the year with the company’s best quarter ever, he’s remaining positive.   “While our results are down from the historic year-ago period, they remain above pre-pandemic levels and continue to demonstrate the strength of our evolving and diversified portfolio of premium outdoor recreation brands.”

Happe is foreseeing lower demand for recreational vehicles for the year ahead.   “Looking ahead for the rest of the fiscal year, we anticipate softened  consumer demand for RVs and cautious ordering behavior from dealers to continue as market conditions persist. However, we will maintain our focus on profitability and customer care by leveraging our dealer and supplier relationships and preserving our internal agility to respond to changing market conditions.”

Happe says the company is confident outdoor participation will continue to rise as Americans increasingly look to the outdoors and road trips to improve mental well-being and to combat the rising costs of flights, lodging and car rentals.  “Despite the uncertain economic climate, our research shows that 70% of respondents have considered using an RV for travel instead of a flight, hotel or rental car, and KOA’s research shows that 33% intend to use their RV for more trips, replacing other modes of travel.”

Revenues for the company’s Motorhome RV segment for the quarter were $374.4 million, down 27.5% from the prior year. Revenues for the Towable RV segment were $384.1 million for the quarter, down 52.3% compared to last year’s third quarter.