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AUBURN HILLS, MI-Michigan manufactured housing leader Champion Enterprises is expanding its operations. The company has closed on its $41-million cash purchase of New Era Building Systems, a leading modular homebuilder, and its affiliates, Castle Housing of Pennsylvania and Carolina Building Solutions.

Strattanville, PA-based New Era and its affiliates built more than 1,800 homes last year. New Era president Elliot Fabri will become president of a newly formed unit of Champion called the New Era Group. Champion, the largest modular-home builder in the nation, has 32 home-building plants in 14 states and two Canadian provinces and employs about 6,500 people. The company partners with nearly 3,000 independent retailers, builders and developers.

Earlier this month, locally based Champion said it posted earnings of $13.5 million, or 18 cents a share, for the second quarter ending July 2, compared with net income of $23.4 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter rose 17% to $317 million, versus $270.5 million in the year-earlier period.

“This quarter was one in which we achieved several milestones in our quest to build a better Champion,” president and CEO William Griffiths says. “It was our ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in manufacturing margins, and at 8.5% this was the highest quarterly margin since 1998.”

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