WATSONVILLE, Calif. – Boating retailer West Marine, Inc. (Nasdaq: WMAR) reported in a statement today that net sales for the six weeks ended January 3 were $53.1 million, a 44.2-percent increase from net sales of $36.8 million for the five week period a year ago. Net sales include sales from the 62 BoatU.S. stores acquired in January 2003 from Boat America.
Comparable store net sales for December increased 2.3 percent compared to the similar period a year ago, according to the company.
Net sales for the 14 weeks ended January 3 were $124.3 million, an increase of 34.2 percent from net sales of $92.6 million for the 13-week period a year ago. Comparable store net sales for the latest quarter increased 2.9 percent compared to the similar period a year ago, West Marine reported.
Net sales for the 53 weeks ended January 3 were $660.3 million, an increase of 24.5 percent from net sales of $530.6 million for the 52-week period ended December 28, 2002. Comparable store net sales for the year decreased 2.5 percent compared to the similar 53 week period for the prior year.
“December sales were soft during the first half of the month and strengthened significantly during the remainder of December,” explained John Edmondson, CEO of West Marine. “While comparable store sales were slightly less than our expectations, our gross margin results exceeded our expectations. As a result we remain comfortable with our fourth quarter guidance of a loss in the range of ($0.11) to ($0.09) per share.”
Edmondson added that comparable sales by region were Southeast – up 4.4 percent, Northeast – down 0.2 percent and West Coast – down 0.4 percent.
West Marine, Inc. is a retailer of boating supplies and apparel, with 345 stores in 38 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, and more than $650 million in annual sales.