US trailer giant Wabash National reported record net sales of $1.64 billion for 2013 – equating to 46,800 new trailers shipped – with CEO Dick Giromini expecting the momentum to continue from 2013 into 2014.
The full year 2013 results include one-time charges of $2.8 million related to the early extinguishment of debt and the acquisitions of Walker and certain assets of Beall. Operating EBITDA – a non-GAAP measure that excludes the effects of costs related to the acquisitions of Walker and certain assets of Beall – was $149.9 million, or 9.2 per cent of net sales, as compared to $118.5 million, or 8.1 per cent of net sales for the previous year period.
According to Wabash, the year-over-year improvement in operating performance is attributable to the successful execution of the Company's growth strategy and disciplined approach to improving profitability, including an improved mix of higher-margin trailer orders driven by a focus on margin over volume, diversification into higher-margin opportunities through the acquisitions of Walker and certain assets of Beall as well as the organic growth of the Diversified Products Group, and operational improvements in the manufacturing facilities.
Dick Giromini, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Overall, 2013 was truly a transformational and record setting year for Wabash National. Growth initiatives driven by our long-term strategic plan to transform the company into a diversified industrial manufacturer continued to gain traction and momentum throughout the year.
“We're now beginning to realize the full benefits of the strategic actions we've taken in the financial and operating performance being delivered by all segments of the business, as demonstrated by record net sales of $1.64 billion, record gross profit of $215.1 million, and a 200 basis point improvement in gross margin to 13.2 per cent.”
Giromini continued, “New trailer shipments of 46,800 for the year were consistent with our previous full year guidance of 46,000 to 47,000 trailers. We look forward to 2014 with a healthy backlog of orders totalling $711 million and a trailer demand forecast well above replacement levels for the third consecutive year.
“We expect to continue the momentum from 2013 into 2014 with strong trailer demand, top-line and bottom-line growth across all business segments and the continued execution of our growth and diversification strategy… In addition, current industry forecasts point to strong demand levels throughout 2014 with projections well above replacement demand and exceeding 2013 levels. Based on our current quote and order activities, our existing backlog and customer feedback regarding their current year needs, we expect 2014 demand will exceed 2013.”