West Marine reports increased Q1 net revenues

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Boat supplies retailer West Marine yesterday reported net revenues for its fiscal first quarter of $109.6 million, an increase of $8.6 million or 8.5 percent from net revenues of $101.0 million a year ago. The 13-week 2010 first quarter ended April 3.

The gains were primarily due to a $6.9-million increase in comparable store sales and $5.0 million in sales from stores opened in 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. However, the impact of stores closed during 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 effectively reduced net revenues by $3.9 million. The company said the majority of these closures occurred in connection with an ongoing real estate optimization program.

“We are very pleased with our first quarter sales results, which were ahead of our expectations,” Geoff Eisenberg, West Marine CEO, said in his company’s quarterly report. “We believe these results were driven by a number of factors, both external and internal. From a marketplace perspective, with increased sales of maintenance-type products, we are seeing signs that more people are preparing their boats for usage this year. We also are seeing recovery in demand for bigger-ticket items, such as boats, motors and electronics. Further, our expansion in the assortment of clothing and technical apparel is receiving good customer response. What is particularly encouraging is that the overall sales improvement was broad-based, across all regions of the country.”

Eisenberg also attributed the company’s gains in part to nice spring weather across much of the United States.

“While cold weather in the southeastern part of the country put a damper on sales early in the year, this shortfall was more than offset by the unseasonably mild weather in the northeast during March,” he said.

The company said it continues to benefit from the closure of Boater’s World stores, which was completed in the mid-part of last year.

Finally, Eisenberg said it has maintained a strong inventory position to maximize sales.

“We made a strategic decision to bring core goods in earlier and in greater quantity so that we’d be more prepared to respond in the event of an increase in demand,” Eisenberg said. “I am pleased to say that even with first quarter comparable store sales that were up more than 8 percent versus last year, we have maintained target in-stock levels across the board.”

Net revenues in the Stores segment for West Marine’s 2010 fiscal first quarter were $96.4 million, an increase of 9.1 percent compared to the same period last year. West Marine’s Port Supply (wholesale) segment revenues through the distribution centers for fiscal first quarter 2010 were $6.7 million, a decrease of 1.6 percent. Net revenues in the Direct Sales segment for fiscal first quarter 2010 were $6.5 million, an increase of 11.1 percent.

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