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Thor Industries Says Profit Up On Cost Cuts

Recreation vehicle maker said Monday its profit more than quadrupled in the fiscal first quarter, lifted by cost cutting measures and a modest increase in RV sales.

JACKSON CENTER, Ohio (AP) -- Recreation vehicle maker Thor Industries Inc. said Monday its profit more than quadrupled in the fiscal first quarter, lifted by cost cutting measures and a modest increase in RV sales.

RV makers like Thor have been hit hard during the recession, which gutted demand for the highly discretionary vehicles. However, sales have begun to stabilize in recent months as the economy shows signs of improvement, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

Thor said its sales of both motorized RVs and RVs that can be towed improved. The company said it was profitable across all its business segments during the quarter. It also builds buses.

The company said it earned $23.4 million, or 42 cents per share, in the three months ended Oct. 31, up from $5.1 million, or 9 cents per share, a year ago.

Sales rose 15 percent to $502.6 million from $438.8 million a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 35 cents per share on $501 million in sales, on average. The earnings estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Earlier this month, Thor said its chairman and CEO Wade F. B. Thompson was stepping aside due to illness. Peter B. Orthwein, a co-founder and director of the company, was named interim chairman, CEO and president.

Shares of Thor slipped 2 cents to $28.22 in morning trading after rising as high as $28.90 earlier in the session. The stock has more than doubled so far this year.

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