MarineMax assessing storm damage at Northeast stores

MarineMax officials were still investigating the full extent of damage from Superstorm Sandy at New York and New Jersey locations.

That is according to CEO William H. McGill, who spoke to investors Thursday about the storm after releasing the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

“We did sustain damage from the storm at a number of the Northeast facilities, as well as some damage to our inventory,” McGill told investors. “Additionally, many of our customers sustained damage from the storm to their boats. The good news is that our team members and their families are OK.”

MarineMax was in the process of responding to customer needs.

“We are best-positioned to service boaters in these markets, given our ability to respond to these extreme weather conditions,” McGill said.

“From our years of experience with previous hurricanes it’s too early to quantify the impact to MarineMax, but since the storm hit at the start of the winter season I suspect on a full-year basis we should be in good shape by the start of the boating season,” McGill said.

“I will also remind you that we have been through multiple hurricanes in Florida and then in the Carolinas and that our customers are very resilient. They are going to still want to get back and boat. Our year-end and fourth-quarter 2012 results, plus the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show’s positive results, give us an increased confidence that the industry has begun to rebound and we will continue to build on these industry trends.”

McGill also addressed the company’s strategy for generating external growth, such as with the expansion with Azimut Yachts and the recent acquisition of two former Bassett Marine locations in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Reflecting on a theme presented to media members prior to FLIBS, McGill told investors that the company will continue to gain market share by not just selling boats, but also selling a lifestyle.

“We are impacting the lives of our customers for the better,” McGill said. “And as we connect them with their self and also with others we believe the current technology environment will continue to enhance our new-boat sales in future quarters as customers find the need to purchase more technologically driven boats with enhancements … that were not offered in previous makes and models.”

The new Sea Ray products — the 370 Venture, the 350 Sundancer and 510 Sundancer — generated excitement and were well received at FLIBS, McGill said.

“We were very successful at the show,” McGill said.

McGill is looking forward to adding the new forthcoming Sea Ray jetboats to product lineups, particularly because some of the past competition in that segment has disappeared.

“We used to have the Sea Ray jetboat line back a bunch of years ago and we were very successful,” McGill told investors. “What’s really exciting about this is that one of the two competitors within the jetboat business is currently exiting. Bombardier is no longer there. So really it’s between Yamaha and now Sea Ray and Bayliner because power pretty well controls the product there.”

— Reagan Haynes


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