The nation’s largest boat retailer, MarineMax, is in an ongoing process of acquiring and adding locations, as well as boat lines that new markets demand, CEO Bill McGill said during a second-quarter earnings call with analysts.
“We have added lines where it was appropriate to the new acquisitions we’ve made,” McGill told analysts Thursday. “We are also expanding lines that are new to our company within the regions that we’re already in, not just acquisitions. And we’re very pleased with our lineup of products right now — the opportunities, whether it’s steamboats or aluminum fine-tuned boats or some fishing boats, or high-end fishing boats, or Azimut.”
Though the company has seen strong growth in the sport cruiser segment, particularly in the South, where sales were strong in all segments, the slow onset of spring in Northern markets has taken its toll — a theme among several companies that reported quarterly earnings Thursday.
“It’s close to 10 million boats that were ordered, paid for and did not deliver in Northern markets,” CFO Mike McLamb told analysts. “When I say ‘paid for,’ I mean we paid for them to get them here from the manufacturers and were due to deliver.”
They would have been delivered were it not for the weather, McGill added.
“I don’t have my breakdown of units from the North and the South right now,” McGill said. “In the North, our units are down, as you would expect with the revenue being down. It doesn’t seem to be any one area that would be down worse — like, yachts aren’t down lower than sportboats. It just seems almost every area is down in that market.”
Unit sales in Northern markets aren’t down quite as much as revenue, McGill said, but sales are down a fair amount in that part of the country.
“That sport cruisers segment, which is so important to the industry and to us, we commented that we saw a growth in the December quarter — actually really good growth in the December quarter,” McGill said during the call. “In the South now, we have pretty good growth in sport cruisers.”
Some of the markets in the North are still being affected by Superstorm Sandy, as well, McGill said.
“It’s been a lot slower getting checks in customers’ hands than we anticipated,” McGill said. “The insurance companies have really held on to the checks a little longer, even though in a lot of cases they’ve already settled with the customers to what that check is going to be. They’ve just been slow coming. But we’re starting to see customers walk into the showroom now and say, ‘Since I’ve got my check, I’m ready to go.’ ”
McGill said the slower-than-expected recovery in those areas is again also due to the cooler-than-average weather, as well as Sandy.
— Reagan Haynes