MarineMax optimistic about 2004

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Boat retailer MarineMax, Inc. (NYSE: HZO) saw record revenue and earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2004, it reported in a statement today.

For the quarter ended December 31, the company reported a revenue increase of 60 percent to $156.7 million compared to $98.0 million for the comparable quarter last year. Same-store sales grew 56 percent compared to an 18 percent decrease in the year ago quarter. Net income was $2.2 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, an increase of $0.17 compared to the net loss of $480,000, or $(0.03) per diluted share, in the comparable quarter last year.

“The December quarter is the seasonally smallest quarter for marine retailers and generally yields net losses,” said William H. McGill, Jr., chairman, chief executive officer and president. “As a result, we are particularly pleased with our first quarter results, which were propelled by stronger than anticipated same-store sales. Driving this increase was a larger than expected shift in the model mix of products, with an increase in the number of larger boats and yachts sold.”

McGill stated that same-store sales also benefited from product line expansions over the last year and continued growth in the company’s service, parts, finance and insurance businesses.

“While these businesses added to our overall revenue, our gross margins fell primarily due to the inherently lower margins associated with larger boat and yacht sales,” he further explained.

On-target for 2004

McGill also said MarineMax is confident that its inventory levels are appropriate and its product mix is on-target for 2004.

“We are making use of our strong balance sheet by offering the most diverse product mix in the industry and planned promotions to effectively drive sales during the all important boat show season,” he explained. “With better weather and improving consumer confidence, it is likely that we accelerated some business into this quarter from our fiscal second quarter.

For the balance of the year, however, he said the company has “tempered some of our enthusiasm … since we do not know the extent of the shift in business.”

McGill concluded, “It is clear that the outlook for marine retailers is beginning to improve. We believe that we can continue to capture market share in a highly competitive environment by offering quality products and superior service.”

Based on current business conditions, retail trends and other factors, MarineMax said it is raising its previously announced fiscal 2004 guidance from $1.26 to $1.36 to a range of $1.38 to $1.45 per diluted share.

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