SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Boat sales were up for small dealers, but down slightly for large dealers during the five-month period ending May 31, Spader Cos. reported in a statement over the weekend. Both groups saw an increase in profits, however.
The market research firm tracks approximately 60 dealers in North America, dividing them into categories: those doing under $5 million in business at retail and those doing over $5 million.
New boat sales for small dealers were 10.7 percent higher this year than during the same period in 2003, while new boat sales for large dealers dropped 2.1 percent through May 31 of this year, compared to 2003.
Profits for both groups of dealers were up slightly from 2003. Small dealers reported a net profit of 4.3 percent of sales or $71,242 this year compared to 2.8 percent of sales or $43,199 in 2003, while large dealers reported a net profit of 5.6 percent of sales, compared to 5.0 percent of sales in 2003, from $258,938 to $279,886.
Total dealership sales for large dealers were down 3 percent from last year, from $5,144,300 to $4,989,291, but were up 8.4 percent for smaller dealers, from $1,526,971 to $1,655,540.
New boat sales for small dealers saw a rise from $1,006,183 in 2003 to $1,113,923 this year. Used boat sales for the average small dealer fell 13.1 percent through May 2004, compared to the same span in 2003, from $153,196 to $133,120.
New boat inventories for small dealers were up 0.4 percent, compared to last year, from $1,177,696 to $1,181,920. Used boat inventories fell 18.6 percent from $106,786 to $86,896.
Spader reported that the total gross margin percent for smaller dealers was down 0.2 percentage points from a year ago to 27.8 percent, while total unit margin percent was up 1.1 percentage points to 19.6 percent compared to the first five months of 2003.
Spending in terms of dollars was nearly the same; however, as a percentage of gross margin, it was over 5 points less.
New boat sales for large dealers fell from $3,430,737 during the first five months of 2003 to $3,358,750 this year. Used boat sales rose 12.6 percent, from $539,492 in 2003 to $607,521 in 2004.
New boat inventories for the average large dealer were down about 14 percent from $3,682,687 in 2003 to $3,170,544 in 2004, while used boat inventories were up 12.9 percent from $421,327 in 2003 to $475,883 in 2004, according to Spader.
Total gross margin was 26.9 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from 2003, while spending was down in terms of dollars and also as a percentage of gross margin, according to Spader.