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Champion Lowers Housing Estimate

September 20, 2002

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Champion Enterprises Inc., one of the nation’s largest producers of manufactured housing, lowered its forecast for industrywide shipments this year by 5.6 percent.

Chairman, president and chief executive Walter Young said Friday the retailers are lowering their inventories of new manufactured homes due to uncertainty about wholesale and consumer financing.

``We’ve lowered our 2002 industry wholesale shipment estimate to 170,000 homes from 180,000 previously,″ Young said. Nationwide, industry sales dropped from 373,000 in 1998 to 193,000 in 2001.

Young said in a management report that Champion’s financial position is improving and the costs of job cuts and other downsizing efforts remain in line with earlier forecasts.

``Excluding costs to close and consolidate manufacturing facilities in the third quarter, our manufacturing operations continue to be profitable,″ Young said. ``The 39 facilities we’re operating are poised for improved margins and higher profits.″

Last month, Auburn Hills-based Champion announced it was cutting 1,500 jobs and closing 71 facilities because of a continuing slump in the demand for manufactured homes. The job cuts amounted to 15 percent of Champion’s work force.

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On the Net:

Champion Enterprises Inc., http://www.championhomes.net

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