Marine Products Corporation, which builds Chaparral and Robalo boats, reported growth in sales and profits for the first quarter of the year Wednesday.
For the quarter ended March 31, 2015, Marine Products generated net sales of $50,644,000, a 6.2 percent increase compared to $47,702,000 in the same period of the prior year. The increase in net sales was due to higher unit sales during the quarter as compared to the prior year.
Gross profit for the quarter was $10,205,000, or 20.2 percent of net sales, a 15.5 percent increase compared to gross profit of $8,838,000, or 18.5 percent of net sales, in the same period of the prior year. Gross profit for the first quarter increased compared to the prior year due to higher net sales and an improved gross margin. Gross margin improved during the quarter compared to the prior year due to a favorable model mix and improved operating efficiencies due to higher production volumes, as well as some decreases in raw materials costs.
Operating profit for the quarter was $4,254,000, an increase of 53.7 percent compared to $2,768,000 in the first quarter of last year. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $5,951,000 in the first quarter of 2015, a decrease of 2.0 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014. As a percentage of net sales, these expenses decreased from 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 11.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was $2,929,000, an increase of $951,000 or 48.1 percent compared to net income of $1,978,000 for the first quarter of 2014. Diluted earnings per share were $0.08 in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of $0.03 compared to the first quarter of the prior year.
Richard A. Hubbell, Marine Products' President and Chief Executive Officer stated, "We are pleased to report continued sales growth from Robalo and Vortex Jet Boats. We also generated increased sales of the new SunCoast Sportdeck outboards during the first quarter, and we believe that this new line will continue to contribute to our success during the 2015 retail selling season. Our profitability improved due to improved efficiencies from higher production volumes and a more profitable model mix.
"The recreational boating industry enjoyed a strong winter boat show season. A late spring in the Northeast has had a slight negative impact on sales in that region, but in general, we believe that the 2015 retail selling season will be strong. At the end of the first quarter, our order backlog was higher than at the same time last year, and our dealer inventories were comparable to the prior year, so we have decided to increase production during the second quarter. In order to support this higher production, we have re-opened a previously idled manufacturing plant and hired additional manufacturing employees to produce our Vortex Jet Boats. This facility will allow us to increase our production by as much as 20 percent and continue to improve our manufacturing efficiencies," concluded Hubbell.