Net profits up 50 percent over 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — New boat sales through October for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management were down by 5.4 percent compared to new boat sales last year at this time, according to Spader's latest financial report.

However, the average dealer reported a net operating profit of 3.9 percent of sales so far in 2010. This compares to 2.2 percent of sales in 2009 — which, in terms of dollars of net profit, represents an increase of 49.3 percent over last year.

Total dealership sales continue to run slightly over 1 percent higher than last year.

The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $3,056,151 compared to new boat sales of $3,231,121 in 2009. Total dealership sales were $7,251,008 compared to $7,159,708 in the prior year.

Pre-owned boat sales for the average dealer brought in $992,823 compared to $993,273 in 2009.

New boat inventory levels were down from $2,590,348 to $1,891,907, a decrease of about 27 percent. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 18.9 percent to $334,900 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 24.7 percent.

Spending in terms of dollars was up by about 1 percent from last year. However, as a result of the reduced inventory levels, floorplan interest expense was down by nearly 30 percent.

The average gross margin percentage earned on new boat sales was two percentage points higher than the average margin from 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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