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Marine Products Corp. optimistic about 2Q results

Chaparral Boats might have slipped a couple of basis points in market share, but it still holds the No. 1 spot.

Chaparral Boats might have slipped a couple of basis points in market share, but it still holds the No. 1 spot.

That’s according to Jim Landers, vice president of corporate finance for Marine Products Corp. — the parent company of Chaparral, Robalo and Vortex — who told investors on Wednesday that the company didn’t specifically address market share this quarter for the sterndrive or jetboat segments.

“We believe that we will probably be No. 2 in the jetboat space, with some pretty significant market share, once you see the retail sell-through happen,” Landers said, adding that he believes the jetboat share has already surpassed the sterndrive market share.

On Wednesday, Marine Products reported nearly $59.5 million in second-quarter sales, compared with $48 million a year earlier. The company also said profits rose 47 percent, to $4.43 million, or 12 cents a diluted share, from $3 million, or 8 cents a share, in the 2014 quarter.

Dealers have been a bit hesitant to take on the Vortex jet line if they don’t already understand the segment, CFO Ben Palmer said.

“We expected there would be some startup time. Maybe it’s a little more extended than we expected, but we believe this is beginning to take hold now and it’s a very good product,” Palmer said. “And I think our sales and success today, where we’ve been able to place in a dealer network, is an indication of times to come.”

As of June 30, dealer inventory and units were comparable to last year.

“Order backlog is substantially higher than this time last year, which is encouraging,” Palmer said. “As always, we monitor these indicators closely and may adjust production during the third quarter, based on seasonal retail trends and indications from our upcoming dealer conference.”

Marine Products CEO Rick Hubbell touched on the Robalo R160, the smallest center console the company has produced. It was recently introduced on social media sites and was set to retail for under $20,000.

“This Robalo has all the same appointments, quality and value of our larger Robalos, but offers an alternative to boaters who want a smaller boat with the sturdiness and seaworthiness of a large boat,” Hubbell said.

The company thinks the nationally advertised price will “open up the Robalo line to the new generation of first-time boaters,” Hubbell said.

Another new model for 2016 is the Chaparral 237 SSX, the latest addition to the company’s premium-quality sportboat line and the largest boat in the line, Hubbell said.

“It incorporates many of the features of the larger SSX and features great interior styling and a lot of storage space,” he said. “We are excited about our new models and look forward to the dealer feedback in a few weeks.”

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