Marine Products Corp. reports record sales

ATLANTA, Ga. — Low consumer loan interest rates are encouraging the purchase of larger boats and upgraded models and contributed to Marine Products Corp. (MPC), manufacturer of the Chaparral and Robalo brands, reporting record third quarter sales, according to Richard Hubbell, chief executive officer.

A 2 percent increase in wholesale prices for 2004 model year units also contributed to the record performance, according to Hubbell.

MPC’s third quarter sales increased 8 percent to $44.9 million and its net income during the three months ended Sept. 30 soared 34 percent higher to $4.5 million, the company reported.

During the first nine months of this year, MPC’s net earnings increased 44 percent to $13.6 million and its sales revenue improved 16 percent to $147.0 million.

In total, the average price of boats sold by MPC increased 7 percent during the July-through-September period because Chaparral and Robalo dealers ordered bigger and more expensive units, said Hubbell.

The company sold more Chaparral Sunesta Deckboats and Signature Cruisers during the third quarter than it did a year ago and its dealers also ordered more larger Robalo models. The Sunesta and Signature series carry price tags that, on average, are higher than MPC’s high volume Chaparral SSi Sportboat, Hubbell said.

In total, MPC sold 1.5 percent more boat units during the third quarter than it did during the July-through-September portion of 2002, according to Hubbell.

“Key to driving growth in this business is a continual stream of updated products with different styling options,” Hubbell said. “To this end, we introduced five new Chaparral models for our 2004 year and two new Robalo models.”

“Chaparral’s dealer inventory levels are lower than last year, due to strong retail sales through our dealer network. We feel confident that this year’s product offerings will help us continue the expansion of Chaparral’s market share in the sterndrive 18-to-35 foot category,” added Hubbell.

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