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Thor says RV sales up in 4Q

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) -- Thor Industries Inc. said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income increased 31 percent on improved sales for the recreational vehicle maker.

The Elkhart, Ind., company reported after the market closed that it earned $58.2 million, or $1.09 per share, for the quarter that ended July 31. That's compared with $44.4 million, or 84 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue increased to $914 million from $769.9 million.

Thor said its towable RV revenue was up 13 percent and its motorized RV sales were up 56 percent.

The quarter's profit came in ahead of market forecasts but revenue fell short.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting, on average, earnings of 96 cents per share on revenue of $1.02 billion.

Thor also makes commercial buses, but it announced in July that it is selling that business to Allied Specialty Vehicles for $100 million. The deal is expected to close by Nov. 1.

Company President and CEO Bob Martin said Thor is pleased to end fiscal 2013 on a positive note. He said the recent efforts to sell off its non-core business and expand its RV business, such as its recent acquisition of the Livin' Lite brand, make him optimistic about the future of Thor.

The company earned $152.9 million, or $2.88 per share, for the full year versus $121.7 million, or $2.26 per share, last year. Its annual revenue increased to $3.24 billion from $2.64 billion.

Shares of Thor rose 18 cents to $56.61 in after-hours trading following the report. Its stock dropped 30 cents to close regular trading at $56.43.