SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – For the 10-month period ended October 31, Spader Cos. said that out of the approximately 60 dealers it tracks, the majority reported that their new boat inventory levels were up an average of almost 15 percent, compared to the same time period of 2002.
New boat inventory levels have been up all year, said Noel Lais, vice president of operations for Spader, in an interview today. And while sales are also up for the year through October 31, dealers are seeing a similar turn on their inventory this year as last year, a turn he rated as "poor."
This suggests that dealers have not improved their situation despite the sales growth, said Lais, and while the economic indicators are positive for 2004, "we haven’t seen the results yet."
The Spader report divides North American dealers into two categories: those doing under US$5 million in business at retail and those doing over US$5 million.
New boat inventories for the smaller dealers were up over 15 percent to $1,002,767 compared to last year while the larger dealers’ inventories were up 14.2 percent to $3,027,217. Used boat inventories were also reported to be up for both small and large dealers.
Total average dealership sales for the smaller dealers were $3,302,464 this year through the end of October, up 11.7 percent over the previous year, while larger dealerships' total average sales were reported to be $10,248,176, up 5.9 percent from the same period of 2002, according to Spader.
New boat sales for the average small dealer rang up $2,052,459 in the first 10 months of 2003, up 14.7 percent from 2002, while used boat sales were reported to be $330,429, up 13.4 percent, said Spader.
The market research firm also stated that net profit was $142,942, which is down 6.6 percent from last year, and as a percentage of sales is down almost one percentage point from last year to 4.3 percent.
Spader reported that the total gross margin percent for smaller dealers was down 1.5 percentage points from a year ago to 28.4 percent, while unit gross margin percent is up 0.2 percentage points to 18.4 percent compared to the same time last year.
Spending is up in terms of dollars, and as a percent of gross margin, it is just over two points higher than last year, according to Spader.
Average new boat sales for large dealers were up 6.7 percent to $6,479,360 during the first 10 months of the year from the same period last year, while used boat sales were reported at $1,186,068 for the period, up 11.9 percent from the same period of 2002, said Spader.
The market research firm reported that net profit was up 42.1 percent to $643,142 or 6.3 percent of sales through the first 10 months of the year.
Total gross margin was 27.5 percent, up 0.7 percentage points from last year, and while spending in terms of dollars remained nearly level with last year, as a percent of gross margin, it is just over 5 percentage points below last year, the report said.