Spader dealers see sales/net loss grow

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Total dealership sales were up almost 18 percent, but Spader dealers reported a net loss that was more than 50 percent greater for January 2005 than the net loss they reported in January 2004, Spader Cos. said in a release yesterday.

The training and consulting company, which had tracked North American boat dealers by category - those doing under $5 million in business at retail and those doing over $5 million - has changed that practice for 2005.

The company said it would now combine those two volume groups into one large group in order to have a more representative total sample. However, Spader also said it would split its tracking results back into two groups if the number of dealers reporting grows back up to the 100 mark in the future.

January's results show a 17.8 percent increase in total dealership sales, from $325,581 in 2004 to $383,622 this year.

In January 2004, dealers reported a net loss of $35,561. The net loss they reported for January 2005 grew 57.8 percent, to $54,720.

New boat inventories rose 18.0 percent, from $2,491,984 in January 2004, to $2,940,588 this year. New boat sales were 15.1 percent above 2004, from $236,863 last year to $272,634 this January.

New unit gross margin percentages were down 5.4 points, from $44,888 in January 2004, to $35,104 this year. Total company gross margin percentages fell 5.8 percent, from $99,369 last January to $94,676 in January 2005. That loss was due entirely to the unit gross margins, Spader said.

Spending was up both in terms of dollars and as a percentage of gross margin. Total expenses experienced a 22 point increase, from $134,931 in 2004 to $149,396 this year.

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