Winnebago CEO expects pent-up demand to propel Covid boom in RV sales in 2021

Winnebago CEO Michael Happe advised CNBC on Friday he expects the coronavirus pandemic-inspired surge in leisure automobile sales to final into subsequent 12 months.

The feedback got here after the Forest City, Iowa-based firm reported robust quarterly outcomes that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Investors cheered the quarter Friday, with shares of Winnebago closing increased by greater than 5%.

Winnebago reported adjusted per-share earnings of $1.69, beating estimates of $1.01, in accordance to FactSet. It additionally represented a 131.5% improve from the identical quarter a 12 months in the past. Revenues for the quarter that ended Nov. 28 got here in at $793.1 million, up 34.8% 12 months over 12 months and topping analyst forecasts of $753 million.

“We were really pleased, obviously, with the way the consumers flocked to the outdoors in 2020 as they tried to manage through the pandemic’s impact on their lives, and we believe you’ll see a similar behavior trend in 2021,” Happe stated on “Closing Bell.”

“There is a great deal of pent-up demand, we believe, by consumers who were perhaps interested in the space and the category earlier this year and maybe didn’t pull the trigger but are still very excited to explore a way to get into RVing and boating in 2021,” the chief added.

Winnebago Industries motor houses on show at Winnebago Motor Homes in Rockford, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As the coronavirus pandemic rendered social distancing crucial, many out of doors leisure actions comparable to boating, biking and touring by RV noticed a development in reputation. Happe isn’t alone in his optimism that Americans’ newfound curiosity in the outside will carry over into subsequent 12 months.

Brunswick CEO David Foulkes advised CNBC earlier this month, “We have incredible momentum in the [boating] industry now. We’ve attracted in a new demographic. … I think that provides us great momentum, not just next year but into future years.”

Winnebago, which sells RVs and boats, has noticed an identical shift in patrons, in accordance to Happe. “Our consumers are getting younger. They are becoming more diverse in terms of background and profile, and they’re using the products in many different ways,” he stated. “The work-from-anywhere trend is quite strong right now, and a lot of our new consumers are seeing these products as a way to work from the road or a beautiful campground somewhere here in America.”

Shares of Winnebago are up 18% to date this 12 months and greater than 260% since their March 19 virus-era low.

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