The “escape to the wilderness” mindset pushed new and used RV sales 16% higher through the first nine months of the year, leading Camping World to post a $304 million profit for the year, a turnaround from a net loss of $39 million in 2019.
The success Camping World enjoyed also allowed investors to share in the growth as the RV retailer and lifestyle advocate showered its shareholders with a three-part dividend.
Camping World’s unique dividend structure has a regular portion of $0.09 per share and what it calls a recurring portion of $0.14 per share, to which it added a special one-time dividend of $0.77 per share for a total of $1 per share in 2020.
The RV retailer is using the gains it made this year from consumers’ changed perspective on the great outdoors to build additional opportunities for growth by expanding into new markets through a growth-by-acquisition strategy.
The RV Industry Association says industry sales grew in 2020 at a pace not seen in 40 years and it expects 2021 to see growth of 21%. But can that sort of pace be maintained once the economy normalizes and travel and tourism return? It could be that the vigor people adopted the RV lifestyle during the crisis will fade like the commitment of a New Year’s resolution to get in shape.
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