Supreme reports improved truck body sales

Supreme Industries, Inc (NYSE Amex: STS), manufacturer of specialized commercial vehicles, including truck bodies, shuttle buses, armored vehicles and homeland response vehicles, experienced stronger sales during the second quarter and for the first half of 2010, the company announced.

During the second quarter, demand strengthened for all major product lines including truck, bus and armored vehicles. Sales order backlog on June 26, 2010, was up 35% to $91.7 million, versus $68.1 million at year-end 2009, and up 50% from $61.2 million a year ago.

Net sales for the 2010 second quarter increased 27% to $60.5 million, compared with $47.6 million in the prior-year quarter. For the first six months of 2010, net sales increased 13% to $109.0 million, versus $96.2 million in 2009's first half.

Compared with last year's second quarter, sales in Supreme's core dry-freight and armored vehicle divisions improved 39% and 52%, respectively. The company's bus division posted a 5% sales increase versus the prior-year period. Net sales also improved in each of the company's primary product lines during the first half of 2010, with dry-freight and armored vehicles reporting 10% and 11% gains, respectively. Bus sales increased 24% versus the first six months of 2009.

The second-quarter loss from continuing operations before income taxes was $18,000, compared with the pre-tax loss of $1.5 million for the year-ago quarter. For the first half of 2010, Supreme reported a loss from continuing operations before income taxes of $2.4 million, versus the 2009 pre-tax loss of $4.4 million.

Second-quarter gross profit increased 55%, or more than $2.1 million, to $5.9 million, up from $3.8 million last year. Gross profit margin as a percentage of net sales improved to 9.7% for the 2010 second quarter and 8.6% for the first half of 2010. That compares with 8.1% in the second quarter of 2009 and 7.0% in the first half of 2009. The year-over-year gross margin increases for both periods were primarily the result of higher unit volume.

“Improving truck markets allowed Supreme to realize revenue growth in its major truck product categories, but such growth has to be viewed in the context of the severely depressed levels of truck sales in 2009,” said Robert Wilson, president and chief operating officer. “We believe that, as a result of the above-average fleet age, an increasing freight tonnage index and our improving performance, as well as other economic indicators, the market for our core truck products should continue to gradually recover.”

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