Sales slow slightly for Spader dealers in July
Sales for the average Spader dealer fell 3 percent in July following four straight months of year-over-year growth for new and used boat sales, according to the latest report from Spader Business Management.
New boat sales were up by 15.8 percent through the first seven months of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011. Used boat sales, despite dropping as much as 40 percent year-over-year in January, are up by 5.3 percent in 2012 compared to the same period of 2011.
Margins were up as well for new and used units. The average gross margin earned on new boats through the end of July was up 0.7 percentage points compared to margins in 2011. Used unit margins were up by 0.5 percentage points during the same period. Total gross margins for the average dealership were up more than 0.5 percentage points.
Through the end of July, the average dealer reported a net operating profit of 6.9 percent of sales, compared to a net operating profit of 5 percent during the same period of 2011.
New boat inventory levels were 21.2 percent higher for the average dealer through the end of July. However, used inventories were down by 9.6 percent compared to the same period.
Sales up across all departments
Departmental revenue was up across the board for the average dealer for the year through the end of July, but sales for the month of July were roughly flat compared to the previous month. Despite 10.4 percent growth in overall unit sales for the average Spader dealer, unit sales were flat in July compared to June.
F&I, though comparatively a small portion of overall sales, was up by double digits for six months in 2012, climbing by 23.7 percent for the year through the end of July and up by 22 percent in July compared to June. F&I sales dipped slightly year-over-year in March but grew April through the end of July.
Service and P&A sales were up by 6.4 and 9.3 percent for the year but were down slightly during the month of July. Service was down by 11 percent in July compared to June and P&A was down by 16 percent.
Advertising spending down in '12
Total expenses for the average Spader dealer are up by 3.6 percent across all categories except for advertising for the year through the end of July, with personnel and fixed expenses contributing to the biggest increases.
The average Spader dealer didn't spend much on advertising, which has taken up 4.7 percent of expenses so far in 2012. Advertising spending for the year through the end of July is down by 17.3 percent compared to the same period of 2011.
Personnel accounted for 52.6 percent of expenses, down 0.1 percentage points compared to 2011, but personnel expenses are still 3.5 percent higher than they were during the same period of 2011. Fixed expenses were up by 8.3 percent compared to 2011 and other variable expenses were up by 5.4 percent. Floor plan interest remained roughly flat.