Spader dealers show mixed results

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – New boat inventories and sales as well as total dealership sales were up, but gross margin percentages and spending were down for the two months ending Feb. 28 – compared to the same two months in 2004 – Spader Cos. said in a release Friday.

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.

Spader Cos., financial reports show that new boat inventories rose from $2,606,506 for the first two months of 2004 to $2,972,683 for the same period this year, an increase of 14.0 percent.

New boat sales climbed from $578,496 last year to $708,585 in 2005, a 22.5 percent increase. During the same period, used boat sales jumped from $66,085 to $113,676, a 72 percent increase.

Total dealership sales also showed significant gains, rising from $812,161 in 2004 to $1,006,184 this year, an increase of 23.9 percent.

However, new unit gross margin percentages were down 1.4 points for the first two months of 2005, from 17.6 percent ($117,437) to 16.2 percent ($135,113). And total company gross margin percentages fell 3.4 points, from 29.8 percent ($242,300) to 26.4 percent ($265,967).

Spending in terms of dollars was up but, as a percentage of gross margin, was down 2.0 points, from 120.1 percent ($290,909) to 118.1 percent ($314,214).

Spader Cos., said the average dealer reported a net loss of $48,247 for the first two months of 2005, which was nearly identical to the net loss reported for the first two months of 2004, which was $48,609.

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