Dealers’ net losses grow

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Net losses were 25 percent greater for the average dealer tracked by Spader Cos. during the two months ended Feb. 28, compared to the same period of 2005, the company reported in a recent statement. However, new boat sales were up 13 percent.

The training and consulting firm 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.

New boat sales increased from $678,271 to $765,970 while used boat sales decreased 12.4 percent to $94,308.

Total dealership sales were down 1.1 percent to $957,980 – due largely to the slowdown in used boat sales – for the average dealer during the month ended Feb. 28 compared to the same period of 2005, reported Spader.

While new boat inventories were up 13.3 percent to $3,612,098, compared to the previous year, the average dealer’s used boat inventories were up only 0.9 percent to $327,214.

The unit gross margin percentage was up 0.3 points from 18.3 percent in 2005 to 18.6 percent this year, while total company gross margin percentage was up 1.8 points to 30.5 percent.

Spending was up in terms of dollars.

Spader Cos. said its average marine dealer reported a net loss of $55,767 or 5.8 percent of sales, up 23.8 percent compared to a net loss of $45,028 or 4.7 percent of sales in February 2005.

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