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Labor costs, supply chain issues bite into Winnebago's profit

Winnebago Industries motor homes on display at Winnebago Motor Homes in Rockford, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Winnebago Industries motor homes on display at Winnebago Motor Homes in Rockford, Illinois.

Winnebago Industries reported a lower-than-expected profit on Thursday as a worker shortage at a key plant in rural Iowa and trouble sourcing key components from suppliers stymied production of the company's recreational vehicles.

The Forest City, Iowa-based maker of motorhomes and camping trailers reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $9.9 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with $11.1 million, or 40 cents a share, last year.

Sales rose nearly 1 percent to $224.4 million.

Analysts, on average, expected the company to post a profit of 45 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Winnebago said it was having trouble recruiting and retaining employees to work at its main motorhome plant in Forest City. It also said it had experienced "significant production variances" during the quarter as it scrambled to get quality component parts in a timely manner.

The company said the issues raised its variable costs and nibbled away at its margins in the quarter.

Shipments of motorhomes to dealers grew 1.3 percent in the quarter, Winnebago said, while shipments of towables rose nearly 13 percent.