Supreme Industries, Inc. (NYSE MKT: STS) announced that first-quarter net income increased to $3.8 million, up from $1.9 million in last year's same period—an increase of 94%.
Net sales in the first quarter increased 10% to $69.4 million, compared with $63.3 million in the previous year.
Due to ongoing strategic marketing and sales efforts, order backlog at March 26, 2016, increased to $102 million, compared with $98 million at the end of the most recent quarter; and $94 million at the end of last year's first quarter.
"With positive momentum continuing in the medium-duty work truck sector, 2016 is off to a great start at Supreme," said Mark Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition, our sales and operations teams continue to gain positive momentum, and our financial results reflect the hard work and customer commitment demonstrated by our entire organization."
Gross margin expanded 375 basis points in the first quarter of 2016 to 21.8% of sales, compared with 18.1% of sales in the first quarter of 2015. Improved overhead utilization from increased volume and a more favorable mix of retail sales as compared with last year, drove the margin improvement. This resulted in gross profit increasing 32.5%, to $15.2 million, up from $11.4 million in the comparable year-ago period.
Operating income improved 86%, to $5.8 million, versus $3.1 million in the first quarter of 2015.
Working capital at March 26, 2016 increased modestly, to $54.9 million, compared with $51.6 million at the end of December 2015, to support higher sales volumes and inventory associated with spring fleet orders. Stockholders' equity increased to $91.9 million at quarter end, compared with $88.6 million at Dec. 26, 2015. Book value per share grew to $5.49 at March 26, 2016, versus $5.32 at the end of 2015.