OneWater outlines strategies for growth

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OneWater purchased Bosun’s Marine, which sells Tiara Boats, in 2018.

OneWater purchased Bosun’s Marine, which sells Tiara Boats, in 2018.

Atlanta-based OneWater Marine held its first call with investors and analysts Friday after releasing its first financial report as a public company.

CEO Austin Singleton and COO Anthony Aisquith gave a glimpse into operations and drew some lines between OneWater and other large marine dealer chains.

“One of the key competitive advantages, and what sets OneWater apart, is a broad product portfolio with multiple revenue streams,” said Aisquith, an alumnus of MarineMax. “In addition to sales of new and preowned boats, we’re focused on growing high-margin finance and insurance, parts and accessories, and repair and maintenance.”

The company emphasized its diversification among premium brands and boat types, which allows it to adjust for shifting trends and developments while maintaining long-term partnerships, Aisquith said.

“That said, not one brand represents more than 10 percent of our sales,” he said.

F&I increased 100 percent year-over-year to $4.3 million, and this is an area where the company plans to focus on growth.

“Our current penetration is right around 50 percent,” Aisquith said. “We’re putting focus with our team and changing the whole sales process to bring financing up earlier in the [sales] process. We’d like to get our percentages up to about 70 percent.”

The company grew revenue 49 percent in the first quarter but saw gross margins decline.

Boat shows yielded stronger-than-expected results, CFO Jack Ezzel said, with sales exceeding expectations in high single digits.

“We usually get a good test of [the year ahead] starting with boat shows, and all our boat shows, except maybe one or two have, exceeded expectations for the year so far,” Singleton said. “That’s a pretty good indication that we’re going to have a nice, fantastic year.”

OneWater raised $55 million in its initial public offering earlier this month and has added staff, some of whom have a history with MarineMax, including David Witty, who was recently promoted to vice president of retail operations for OneWater.

OneWater said it will continue to seek acquisitions. As of October 2019, it had 63 locations among 21 dealer groups around the country. The company detailed an aggressive expansion strategy to actively target dealers who are looking to retire.

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