Posts Tagged ‘Forest City’

Forest City, Iowa — They’ve been through hell, so a little heat and humidity won’t slow the MIL-WITS.

They’re military veterans, owners of Winnebago and Itasca motor homes, and they’re having their usual big ol’ time this week at the 42nd-annual Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) grand national rally.

“We love it,” said Jack Fraker of Winter Haven, Fla., a retired Navy veteran who served as the first MIL-WITS president when the club’s charter was approved in 1991. “It’s the biggest and best special interest group in WIT.

The club held its national rally last week in Forest City — playing reveille at daybreak and taps in the evening using CDs and a P.A. system.

Members provided the color guard for the opening ceremony parade, the flag-raising and a military services event at the WIT Rally — and they’ll do the same for the closing ceremonies.

The club, which includes veterans from the U.S. and Canada, is celebrating its 20th WIT Rally. There are about 40 motor homes involved.

Full Story

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FOREST CITY, Iowa–Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WGO), one of the leading United States (U.S.) motor home manufacturers, today reported continued improvement in financial results during the Company’s first quarter of Fiscal year 2011.

Revenues for the first quarter of Fiscal 2011 ended November 27, 2010 were $123.7 million, an increase of 52.7 percent, versus $81.0 million for the first quarter of Fiscal 2010. The Company reported an operating profit of $4.9 million for the quarter, versus an operating loss of $6.0 million for the first quarter of Fiscal 2010. Net income for the first quarter was $3.8 million versus a net loss of $1.3 million for the first quarter of Fiscal 2010. On a diluted per share basis, the Company had net income of $0.13 for the first quarter of Fiscal 2011 versus a net loss of $0.05 for the first quarter of Fiscal 2010. The net loss for the first quarter of Fiscal 2010 reflected the positive impact of $4.9 million in tax benefits associated with additional Fiscal 2009 net operating loss carryback due to tax law changes in Fiscal 2010; however, no tax benefits were recorded on first quarter Fiscal 2010 pre-tax losses which were not immediately subject to refund. During the first quarter of Fiscal 2011, an idled assembly facility in Charles City, Iowa (CCMF) classified as held for sale, was sold to CGS Tires US, Inc. The sale was finalized on November 1, 2010 and generated $3.7 million in net proceeds and a gain of $644,000.

The first quarter was positively impacted by increased motor home deliveries, increased average selling price due to a shift to more higher-priced Class A products, more fixed cost absorption and improved labor efficiencies as a result of higher production levels, as well as the sale of CCMF.

“Increased motor home deliveries continued to drive the improvement in our first quarter Fiscal 2011 results,” said Winnebago Industries’ Chairman, CEO and President Bob Olson. “We are pleased to see increases in our delivery volumes, as well as strength in our Class A products in the marketplace, with gains in both Class A gas and diesel market share. As we enter the slower winter months, however, we remain cautious until we see continued retail growth.”

“We experienced a very positive response from dealers on our new 2011 products shown at the recent National RV Trade Show in Louisville, KY which took place November 30 through December 2, 2010,” continued Olson. “Our dealers were particularly excited about the new Class A diesel Winnebago Tour and Itasca Ellipse products for 2011, which were totally redesigned with a new exterior design and four floorplans unique to the Recreation Vehicle (RV) industry. We also displayed several new floorplans in our Class A gas and Class C product lines, in addition to the premier viewing of our new 2012 ERA Class B motor home, with better user-functionality, enhanced features, more storage capacity and more value.”

Winnebago Industries’ dealer inventory increased 31.8 percent with 2,066 Class A, B and C motor homes on dealers’ lots at the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2011, compared to the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2010. Conversely, Winnebago Industries’ sales order backlog was 698 Class A, B and C motor homes at the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2011, a decrease of 54.1 percent compared to the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2010.

“Our higher sales order backlog last year at this time was indicative of the fact dealer inventory had bottomed out and our dealers were finally ready to re-stock their shelves with new product,” said Olson. “We responded to that increased demand by ramping up our production a year ago and dealer inventory has remained at a consistent level and in line with retail demand since February 2010.”

“We are excited to bring a little ‘tinsel town’ fanfare to Forest City for our week long Grand National Rally,” said WIT General Manager Doug Formanek. “With over 1,300 Winnebago Industries motor homes expected, – up nearly ten percent from last year – we are looking forward to a fun-filled week of celebrity look-alikes and red carpet activities as we celebrate our Hollywood Legends theme!”

Held at the rally grounds across from Winnebago Industries’ headquarters in Forest City, the 41st annual Grand National Rally promises to be an active week, filled with informative seminars, great entertainment and most importantly, fun. Many attendees will be dressed as their favorite actor or actress, and will participate in such events as the Happy Camper Cookoff, Motor Home Rodeo and the first ever “WIT Movie” where attendees will star in a movie filmed entirely during the rally. Best performance awards will even be given out for event winners throughout the week.

“With over 3,000 people expected to attend, this week will mark movie history in Forest City,” Formanek said. “I’m sure Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and even Roy Rogers will make an appearance. But the real star of the week is the RV lifestyle that WIT members enjoy in their Winnebago Industries motor homes – is the perfect mix of fun, friendship and camaraderie – and the real reason our members return home every year. We look forward to celebrating Hollywood Legends this July!”

Although the rally officially doesn’t begin until July 18, WIT members typically start arriving as early as two to three weeks early for pre-rally events and to participate in Forest City’s Puckerbrush Days activities.

“It’s not too late to register,” Formanek added. “WIT members that are interested can call 1-800-643-4892, ext. 1, or visit www.witclub.com and click on the “Special GNR Edition” tab for details about the event and registration information.”

Membership in WIT is open to anyone who owns a Winnebago Industries motor home and there are currently more than 14,000 Club members. WIT members are eligible for special member benefits and can also participate in local, state, regional and special interest clubs, and travel on a variety of WIT Club managed special events called caravans and rallies.

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