Used boats to the rescue

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Total dealership sales for the average dealer tracked by Spader Cos. during the seven-month period ended July 31 were up 2.4 percent, compared to the same time last year, the company reported in a recent statement.

That’s primarily due to a nearly 15 percent increase in used unit sales, according to Spader.

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 were down 0.5 percent, compared to the same period of 2006, having decreased to $5,231,992. Used boat sales had increased 14.6 percent to $856,138.

Total dealership sales had increased to $7,925,233 for the average dealer during the first seven months of the year, reported Spader.

New boat inventories, which were up in 2006, continue to run higher in 2007. For the seven-month period ended July 31, they were up 6.9 percent to $3,931,853, compared to the same period of the previous year, as were the average dealer’s used boat inventories, which have jumped 8.2 percent to $394,277.

Spending was up both in terms of dollars and as a percentage of gross margin, having increased by 1.5 percentage points to 81.1 percent. All expenses all were up, according to Spader, with the exception of personnel and advertising.

The unit gross margin percentage was down 0.5 points to 17.6 percent, while total company gross margin percentage was down 0.1 points to 26.5 percent.

Net profits were down 5.1 percent during the seven-month period ended July 31, compared to the same period of 2006.

The average dealer earned a net profit of 5.0 percent of sales or $398,333, compared to a net profit of 5.4 percent of sales or $419,600 during the same period of 2006.

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