Record level fire truck chassis sales helped propel Spartan Motors to its best-ever third quarter sales and earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006, marked by a 50.7 percent net earnings increase and a 21.9 percents net sales increase.
The company reported net earnings of $4.1 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, on net sales of $108.9 million for the third quarter of 2006, compared with net earnings of $2.7 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, on net sales of $89.3 million for the third quarter of 2005.
Spartan Motors makes custom fire truck chassis, emergency vehicles, motorhome chassis and specialty vehicles. The company attributes its improved quarterly results to record-level fire truck chassis sales, increased military vehicle chassis sales and improved performance at Spartan’s EVTeam operating group, which includes the company’s subsidiaries Crimson Fire, Crimson Fire Aerials and Road Rescue.
“This was another strong quarter, driven by the strength of our brands, as reflected in our increased sales and backlog and the consistency of our execution,” said John Sztykiel, Spartan Motors president and CEO. “Though conditions in the RV market remain difficult, we continue to gain market share, and I am more optimistic than I was three months ago. Consumer confidence has improved two months in a row, fuel costs have dropped and our RV backlog is moving in the right direction.”
Sztykiel added that increased sales of fire trucks chassis and fire trucks give the company a more diverse foundation beyond the RV market, which now makes up less than half of Spartan’s total sales.
“The increase in fire truck chassis orders has created a production constraint, which we are in the process of solving with a new 102,000-square- foot manufacturing facility, expected to open in May 2007. This new facility will alleviate the current capacity issue, create capacity for new products and accelerate production rates. We are pleased with how well our associates at Spartan Chassis have ramped up production in support of the Cougar and ILAV projects. We have room for growth in this market, as we are only running at 35 percent capacity for specialty and military vehicle production, and remain excited about our prospects in specialty vehicles.”
Spartan’s EVTeam operating group narrowed its net loss by 47.0 percent compared to the same quarter of last year. Spartan reported the improvement was due to a 38.4 percent sales increase for the group and a net profit at Crimson Fire, the subsidiary’s second consecutive quarter of profitability.
“Crimson Fire and Crimson Fire Aerials continue to move in the right direction,” Sztykiel said. “As sales accelerate at Crimson Fire and Crimson Fire Aerials, we also see greater pull-through sales from Spartan Chassis, which increases total profitability. Road Rescue is also moving in the right direction, as we are making a concentrated effort to boost production while reducing costs.”
Through the first nine months of 2006, Spartan’s sales increased 20.3 percent and earnings increased 85.4 percent compared to the same period last year. Spartan reported net earnings of $13.5 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, on net sales of $321.8 million, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006.
For information call 517-543-6400 or go to www.spartanmotors.com.