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Despite headwinds, MarineMax reports gains in first quarter

MarineMax-Q3

Photo Credit: Fifth World Art, Flickr

Brent Renneke
January 29, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

MarineMax revenue increased 8 percent in the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year when compared to the same period in FY 2012, while the continuing recovery in the northeast and economic headwinds contributed to a net loss for the quarter.

MarineMax reported a net loss of more than $4.16 million in FY 2013’s first quarter, which was slightly less than an approximately $4.21 million loss in the same period in 2012. Same store sales grew more than 8 percent in the first quarter, compared to a 2-percent increase the prior year.

On the earnings call, CEO Bill McGill said the effects of Hurricane Sandy were still apparent in the first quarter, as its facilities in the region came back on board. McGill said four stores experienced significant damage.

On the bright side, McGill said boat owners receiving their insurance check resulting from destroyed vessels will have some impact in the second quarter; however, he expects the impact to continue for two to three years. Boat owners will need to rebuild their own homes and docks before they are ready to replace their boat.

Florida was by far the strongest region for sales, according to McGill, while markets from Baltimore to Connecticut fell approximately 9 percent – largely due to the storm.

Both McGill and chief financial officer Michael McLamb expressed optimism over the cruiser segment, which has lagged in the recovery when compared to other segments.

McLamb said 2012 was an up-and-down year for the segment, resulting in a single-digital decline for the fiscal year. In the quarter ending Dec. 31, cruiser sales were up, and it is a trend that continued into January.

“It is a meaningful shift in business, more than just a couple units of increase over a small number,” McLamb said.

McGill believes the cruiser segment will see a boom once the fleet of current cruisers on the water age. “People that are in cruisers right now and desire to have a cruiser for family boating … they are still out there and are still boating, so the aging of the fleet is the opportunity here.”

Although traffic was down at many boat shows at the start of the season, the percentage of buyers was up, according to McGill and McLamb. McGill said the Atlantic City show on Feb. 6 would be a gauge for how many Sandy-affected boaters are ready to cash in their insurance check.

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