Large dealers report 5-percent sales spike

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – New boat and total dealership sales were up for large dealers but down for smaller ones during the nine months ended Sept. 30 – when compared to the same period of 2003 – Spader Cos reported Friday.

The training and consulting company tracks approximately 60 dealers in North America, dividing them into two categories: those doing under $5 million in business at retail and those doing over $5 million.

Spader said total dealership sales were up about 5 percent – from $9,437,269 to $9,914,550 – and new boat sales were up 5.5 percent – from $6,070,759 to $6,410,412 – for larger dealers compared to 2003.

However, total dealership sales fell about 5 percent for smaller dealers – from $3,450,180 to $3,267,554 – as did new boat sales, which were down approximately 4 percent – from $2,162,137 to $2,062,977.

Small dealers

Small dealers reported that their profits were up from 2003, as they had a net profit of 6.0 percent of sales, or $196,951, as compared to 5.3 percent of sales, or $182,126, for the same period the year before.

Used boat sales fell 19.0 percent, dropping from $385,178 in 2003 to $311,810 this year.

New boat inventories were down 1.4 percent, from $1,050,150 to $1,035,252, while used boat inventories fell 7.5 percent – from $106,474 to $98,491.

The total gross margin percent was up 1.4 points to 28.9 percent, while total unit margin percent was up 1.3 points to 19.3 percent.

Spending in terms of dollars was down and, as a percentage of gross margin, was 1.9 points less than during the same period of 2003.

Large dealers

Large dealers reported a net profit of 5.6 percent of sales, or $560,140, compared to 6.5 percent, or $612,125, in 2003.

Used boat sales climbed 16.7 percent, to $1,244,479 from $1,066,273 in 2003, and used boat inventories rose 4.1 percent, from $403,197 to $419,583. New boat inventories were up 3.6 percent ($2,985,996 to $3,094,556) from 2003.

Spader reported that total gross margins were down slightly (0.3 points) from 2003, to 26.6 percent, while total unit margins fell 0.2 points to 17.6 percent.

Spending was up in terms of dollars and up nearly 3 points as a percentage of gross margin.

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