November 28, 2022

Even with Covid restrictions lifted, RV maker Thor Industries sees continued demand for outdoor living – and a growing order backlog, CEO Bob Martin told CNBC on Tuesday.

Thor’s backlog was $ 14.32 billion at the end of April, the company said in its third quarter report released Tuesday. That’s 32.5% from $ 10.81 billion at the end of January and 550% more than a year ago.

Martin told Jim Cramer on Mad Money that the company was “pretty sold out for next year” and that most of the new recreational vehicle inventory was promised to waiting customers.

“We have backlog that is full of retail orders so these will end up on the dealer’s lot and then leave, and so we still can’t build stock on our dealer’s lots,” he said.

The demand for outdoor living increased during the pandemic as consumers looked for new ways to spend time safely at home. And younger customers have started shopping, Martin said.

“Right now we see this as a long-term trend, and if we get people on an entry-level price and product, they will grow for a lifetime,” he said. “People act every 3 to 5 years but right now we’re seeing it a little faster and we’re seeing this for a long runway.”

Thor makes towable and motorized RVs under several brands including Airstream, Heartland RV and Jayco. The company’s supply in the North American market was around 75,000 as of the end of the last quarter, a decrease of nearly 30% from nearly 106,000 units in 2020 and 43% below 132,500 units prior to Covid-19 in 2019.

The results are similar in Europe, where Thor’s backlog is growing exponentially. The company reported a backlog of $ 3.34 billion, nearly five times higher than before the pandemic.

Thor exceeded sales and earnings estimates for the third quarter. The company’s total revenue more than doubled from $ 1.68 billion a year ago to $ 3.46 billion.

Thor’s shares fell 1.26% to $ 115.60 on Tuesday. The stock is up 24% since the start of the year.