Despite sales increase, dealer profits down

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Net profits were down almost 26 percent for the average dealer tracked by Spader Cos. during the month ended Jan. 31, compared to the same period of 2006, the company reported in a recent statement.

During January, the average dealer earned a net loss of 15.3 percent of sales or $67,724, compared to a net loss of 12.9 percent of sales or $53,845 in January 2006.

However, new boat sales were up 25.6 percent, having increased to $329,519. Used boat sales were down 29.4 percent to $43,842.

Total dealership sales were up 6.6 percent to $443,067 for the average dealer in January compared to the prior January, reported Spader, which put the numbers into context, stating that the month of January typically represents only about 4 percent of annual sales volume for most dealers.

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 inventories were up in January, having increased 8.2 percent to $4,285,108, compared to the previous January, as were the average dealer’s used boat inventories, which jumped 20.6 percent to $405,230.

The unit gross margin percentage was down 2.6 points to 14.7 percent in January, while total company gross margin percentage was down 3.4 points to 29.9 percent.

Spending was up about 4 percent in terms of dollars, and as a percentage of gross margins, it grew by 12.2 points. The largest increase came from floorplan interest, which was up over 20 percent, according to Spader.

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