January boat sales almost identical to prior year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — New boat sales in January were almost identical to the new boat sales in January of 2010 for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management, according to Spader's latest financial report.

The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $187,134 compared to new boat sales of $185,274 in 2010. Total dealership sales were $290,419 compared to $249,907 in the prior year.

Higher used boat sales ($100,752 vs. $73,119, up 37.8 percent)contributed to the overall increase in total dealership sales of 16.2 percent over last year.

For the first month of 2011, the average dealer reported a net operating loss of $55,785. This was a smaller loss than for January 2010 by about 4 percent.

The average gross margin percentage earned on new boat sales in during the month of January 2011 was 3.7 percentage points higher than the gross margin earned for the same month last year. The average total dealership gross margin percentage was down by 1.8 percentage points when compared to last year.

New boat inventory levels were slightly higher (2.9%) than the inventory levels of one year ago at $2,121,352 versus $2,060,622. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 19.6 percent to $306,356 during this period, resulting in a total inventory being basically even.

In terms of dollars, the average dealer increased their spending by about 5 percent. Spending was up in all categories except for floorplan interest expense, which was down.

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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