Spader dealers outperforming the industry

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In a year in which the industry is reporting double-digit declines in new boat sales and many businesses are taking drastic steps to attempt to reduce inventory, it appears that Spader dealers anything but the norm.

Total dealership sales for the average dealer tracked by Spader Cos. during the 12-month period ended Dec. 31 were up 1.6 percent, compared to 2006, the company reported in a recent statement.

That’s due in part to an 11.5-percent increase in used boat sales, as well as increases in revenue from parts and accessories, service and marina operations. New boat sales were down 0.8 percent during this period.

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 decreased slightly to $7,084,764 in 2007. However, pre-owned boat sales jumped to $1,278,298. Total dealership sales had increased to $11,264,927 for the average dealer during the year, reported Spader.

New boat inventories, which were up in 2006, were almost flat in 2007, increasing by less than 0.1 percent from $3,665,160 to $3,666,648, while the average dealer’s pre-owned boat inventories increased 4.4 percent to $383,087.

Spending was up in terms of dollars, and as a percentage of gross margin, according to Spader.

The unit gross margin percentage was down 0.3 points to 17.7 percent, while total company gross margin percentage was up 0.3 points to 28.5 percent.

Net profits were down only 1 percent during the year, compared to 2006. The average dealer earned a net profit of 2.5 percent of sales or $283,405, compared to a net profit of 2.6 percent of sales or $286,254 during the same period of 2006.

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