Travis confident Birnbaum will restore profitability

Financial losses expanded at dealership chain Travis Boats & Motors Inc. early this year, but company executives believe its newly appointed chairman has the right plan for restoring its profitability.
Travis, which now operates 34 dealership locations mostly in Gulf Coast states, lost $1.7 million during the second quarter of its fiscal year 2003, which ended on March 31. That compares with a $160,000 net loss incurred a year earlier.
During the six months ended March 31, Travis lost a total of $5.3 million, compared with $9.8 million lost during the same period a year earlier. Travis’ $9.8 million loss during the six months ended March 31, 2002, included a $6.5 million non-cash charge recognized due to accounting rule changes.
Meanwhile, Travis’ sales revenue declined 20 percent during the January-through-March period to $38.1 million and its sales during the six months ended March 31 declined 18 percent to $56.1 million.
The closure of one dealership contributed to the sales revenue decline, but when comparing sales at the locations Travis operated for at least one year, its revenue still declined by 19 percent during its second fiscal quarter.
The company’s sales also declined 16 percent at the stores it operated at least a year during the six months ended March 31.
“Like most retailers, March was challenging for us,” said Mark Walton, Travis’ president. “We have seen nice improvement in April. It looks like customers are ready to go boating and we are ready for them.
“While we are disappointed with the [financial] results, I am very excited about our forward opportunities and business strategy,” Walton added.
Now, directing Travis’ business plan is Richard Birnbaum, who was elected chairman of the Travis’ Board late in April.
Birnbaum retired last year from Circuit City Stores Inc., the consumer electronics store chain, where he was executive vice president. During his 30 years at Circuit City, Birnbaum was part of the team that expanded Circuit City from 50 stores into a national retailer with 600 locations and approximately $10 billion in annual sales.
Travis’ new business plan involves deeper discounting of prior model year and discontinued inventory, reducing labor and other operating expenses and refining ordering policies so that Travis mainly stocks the boats that will retail quickly.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button