Fleetwood Corporation is developing a strategy to beat labour shortages.
Fleetwood Corporation is developing a strategy to beat labour shortages.

Shares in Fleetwood Corporation have taken a hit after the caravan and donga maker warned of sharply lower revenues and EBIT for the first half.

The company said it expected to post first-half revenue of $140 million, down from $194 million in 2012 and EBIT of $13 million, down from $41 million in 2012.

The $13 million figure also excludes a $5 million loss from its Victorian caravan manufacturing operation, which it has moved to Perth.

Fleetwood attributed the downgrade to weak conditions across its key markets including an occupancy rate of between 40-50 per cent at its Searipple Village in Karratha.

However Fleetwood predicted an improved result in the second half with an agreement signed with Rio Tinto in December to accommodate as many as 660 workers for one year, with four six-month extension options.

"The agreement provides for Fleetwood to upgrade the village, which is on budget and on time to be completed in March," the company said.

Fleetwood said manufacturing activity was expected to be strong underpinned by the Osprey project in WA and the Gladstone and other resources projects in Queensland.

However the company said revenue for the recreational vehicles division would continue to be affected by consumer sentiment.

On the upside, the division would have a more competitive business structure and cost base with manufacturing being consolidated in WA.

Fleetwood said it expected to pay an interim fully franked dividend of 30 cents, down from 33 cents last year.

The company expects to report its final audited full-year results on Tuesday, February 19.

Fleetwood shares were down 44 cents, or 4.38 per cent, to $9.61 at 7.50am after touching an earlier low of $9.

The West Australian

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