Strong sales reported by Spader dealers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - New boat and total dealership sales are up significantly for the three months ending March 31 - compared to the same period in 2004 - Spader Cos. reported earlier this week.

The training and consulting company tracks North American boat dealers, both large and small, to compile an average profile, then compares year-over-year trends in a number of different categories.

Spader Cos. said new boat sales for the average dealer were up 22.0 percent, from $1,103,150 for the first three months of 2004, to $1,345,981 for the same period this year. Total dealership sales rose by 18.0 percent, climbing from $1,607,432 in 2004, to $1,897,539 this year.

New boat inventories increased as well, up 21.3 percent from $2,526,754 in 2004 to $3,064,578 this year.

New unit gross margin percentages fell slightly, from 17.8 ($237,900) percent in 2004, to 17.4 percent ($275,953) this year. And total company gross margin percentages also experienced a decline, dropping 1.1 percent, from 27.7 percent ($445,926) last year to 26.6 percent ($505,593) this year.

Spending was up in terms of dollars and also as a percentage of gross margin, from 97.9 percent in 2004 to 98.6 percent this year.

Spader Cos. said the month of March put the average marine dealer into the net profit column for the year. The average dealer reported a net profit of .4 percent of sales, which was down slightly from 2004, which was .6 percent of sales.

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