New boat sales rebound slightly, still down from 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — New boat sales rebounded slightly in July for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management but are still down by 2.6 percent compared to new boat sales last year at this time, according to Spader's latest financial report.

However, total dealership sales were up by 3.1 percent over total dealership sales at this point in 2009.

The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $2,465,059 compared to new boat sales of $2,529,973 in 2009. Total dealership sales were $5,371,128 compared to $5,211,595 in the prior year.

Pre-owned boat sales for the average dealer brought in $682,750 compared to $693,713 in 2009, a decrease of 1.6 percent.

The average dealer reported a net operating profit of 3.8 percent of sales in 2010 compared to 1.8 percent of sales for the same period in 2009.

New boat inventory levels were down from $2,915,744 to $1,979,130, a decrease of more than 32 percent. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 24 percent to $318,851 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 29.7 percent.

Total dollars spent were level to down slightly. Personnel expenses, advertising expense, floorplan interest expense and fixed expenses were all down. Variable expenses were higher than last year.

The average total dealership gross margin percentage was 0.9 percentage points higher than it was last year.

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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