Higher unit sales of Robalo sportfishing boats and select Chaparral models helped Marine Products Corp. generate a third quarter net sales increase of more than $59 million, a 6.9 percent increase over last year’s earnings of $55 million.
Net sales for the nine months ending Sept. 30 were $201,725, an increase of 9.6 percent compared to the first nine months of 2016. Net income for the nine-month period increased by 22.4 percent to $15,944,000 or $0.46 diluted earnings per share, compared to net income of $13,023,000, or $0.34 diluted earnings per share in the prior year.
Net income for the quarter was almost $4.6 million, an increase of $280,000 or 6.5 percent, compared to net income of $4.2 million for the third quarter of 2016.
Operating profit for the quarter was $6.6 million, an increase of 22 percent, compared to $5.4 million in the third quarter of last year. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 7.7 percent compared to the third quarter of 2016.
"Our third quarter 2017 financial results were driven by continued improvement in sales of our Robalo outboard sport fishing boats and selected models such as our popular new Chaparral Surf Series, offset by continued weakness in the sterndrive recreational boat market,” said Richard Hubbell, president and chief executive officer, during the company’s quarterly conference call.
Average selling prices improved due to a favorable model mix which featured larger models, Hubbell said, adding industry-wide retail sales continued to be strong during the quarter, although long-term weakness in U.S. domestic sterndrive sales and international markets have continued.
Nevertheless, Marine Products Corp. reported continued market share gains in both the company’s sterndrive and outboard sport fishing boat product lines.
For the 12-month period ending in June 2017, Chaparral's market share increased to 16 percent of the sterndrive market in its size category, and Robalo's market share increased to 5.2 percent of its market, and was the fourth largest brand in this category.
Marine Products Corp. sales for the third quarter were negatively impacted by approximately 3 percent due to manufacturing plant closures and delayed deliveries resulting from Hurricane Irma, which impacted our manufacturing operations late in the third quarter, Hubbell said, adding delayed shipments due to the hurricane occurred early in the fourth quarter.
“Our dealer inventory levels were lower than at the end of the second quarter as our dealers sold large numbers of boats to their retail customers through the end of the 2017 retail selling season while continuing to accept our shipments," Hubbell reported.