January losses show slight improvement over 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management showed a net loss during the first month of 2010, but the losses showed incremental improvement from last year, the company stated in a recent trend report. The total dealership gross margin percentage was up by 6.4 percentage points.

“For the first month of 2010, dealers reported an average net loss of $62,286. This was a 2.5 percent improvement over the net operating loss reported in January 2009,” Spader said. “While it’s only January (typically less than 5 percent of the year’s business) and it’s only a small improvement, nonetheless, it’s movement in the right direction.”

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 by 45.9 percent and total dealership sales were down by 32.5 percent for the average dealer in January compared to the prior year.

The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $188,428 and average total dealership sales of $243,201. This compares to average new boat sales of $348,045 and average total dealership sales of $360,547 in the prior year.

Pre-owned boat sales for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management brought in $51,854, down 42.5 percent.

New boat inventory levels were down 37.2 percent — from $3,292,044 to $2,068,277. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 29.8 percent to $350,474 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 34.8 percent.

F&I revenue was up 6 percent and service revenue dropped 11.2 percent for the period, while parts and accessories revenue was down 8.9 percent, marina revenue was down 13.4 percent and other department sales were up 141 percent. Dealers reduced their spending by about 12 percent in January. All expense categories were reduced.

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