Boat sales down but net losses shrink through February

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — For the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management, new boat sales for the two months ending February 2010 were down 21.4 percent compared to the same period in 2009. However, at the same time, net losses improved.

“For the first two months of 2010, the average dealer reported a net operating loss of $107,822,” Spader said in its latest trend report. “This compares to an average net loss for the first two months of 2009 of $123,495. This represents increased earnings of nearly 13 percent. For the second month in a row, we are seeing progress in the positive direction.”

Total dealership sales were down by 10.5 percent for the average dealer through February compared to the prior year.

The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $359,449 and average total dealership sales of $623,419. This compares to average new boat sales of $457,266 and average total dealership sales of $696,479 in the prior year.

Pre-owned boat sales for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management brought in $79,615, down 25.6 percent.

New boat inventory levels were down 36.4 percent — from $3,343,425 to $2,128,055. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 25.7 percent to $365,937 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 34 percent.

During the period, F&I revenue was up 28.4 percent, service revenue dropped 14.5 percent, parts and accessories revenue was down 3.4 percent, marina revenue was down 11.6 percent and other department sales were up 20.2 percent. The average dealer reported an 8-percent reduction in expenses for the first two months of this year. Spending was down in all areas.

The total dealership gross margin percentage was up by 1.9 percentage points.

The Spader 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.

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