New boat sales down, total dealership sales up

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — New boat sales were down by 4.2 percent for the first half of 2010 for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management, but total dealership sales were up by 3.2 percent over total dealership sales at this point in 2009, according to Spader's latest financial report.

The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $1,986,394 compared to new boat sales of $2,074,297 in 2009. Total dealership sales were $4,311,807 compared to $4,179,866 in the prior year.

Pre-owned boat sales for the average dealer brought in $559,973 compared to $539,749 in 2009, an increase of 3.7 percent.

The average dealer reported a net operating profit of 3.3 percent of sales in 2010 compared to 0.8 percent of sales for the same six months of 2009.

New boat inventory levels were down from $3,043,087 to $2,033,346, a decrease of more than 33 percent. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 25.1 percent to $328,243 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 30.8 percent.

Dollars spent were level to down slightly with floorplan interest expense showing the biggest decrease. Advertising expenses and variable expenses were up over last year.

"Even though this is the busy time of year, with new boat sales down, dealers should renew their effort to keep a tight control of their spending," Spader said in the report.

The average gross margin percentage on new boat sales was up by 2 percentage points over the average gross margin earned a year ago.

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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