Marine Products Corp., the parent company of Chaparral and Robalo boats, said it generated first-quarter net sales of $50.6 million, a 6.2 percent increase from $47.7 million in the same period last year.
The company said the increase was attributable to higher unit sales.
Gross profit for the quarter that ended March 31 was $10.2 million, or 20.2 percent of net sales, a 15.5 percent increase from $8.8 million, or 18.5 percent of sales, a year earlier. Gross profit increased because of higher net sales and an improved gross margin, the company said.
Gross margin improved, compared with the prior year, because of a favorable model mix and improved operating efficiencies attributable to higher production volumes, as well as some decreases in raw-material costs.
The company said its operating profit for the quarter was $4.25 million, an increase of 53.7 percent from $2.77 million in the quarter last year.
The company reported a first-quarter net profit of $2.9 million, or 8 cents a diluted share, compared with $1.98 million, or 5 cents a share, a year earlier.
"We are pleased to report continued sales growth from Robalo and Vortex jetboats,” Marine Products president and CEO Richard Hubbell said in a statement. “We also generated increased sales of the new SunCoast Sportdeck outboards during the first quarter, and we believe that this new line will continue to contribute to our success during the 2015 retail selling season. Our profitability improved due to improved efficiencies from higher production volumes and a more profitable model mix.”
A late spring in the Northeast had a slight negative effect on sales there, but a strong winter boat show season leads company officials to believe the 2015 selling season will be strong, Hubbell said.
"At the end of the first quarter, our order backlog was higher than at the same time last year, and our dealer inventories were comparable to the prior year, so we have decided to increase production during the second quarter,” Hubbell said. “In order to support this higher production, we have reopened a previously idled manufacturing plant and hired additional manufacturing employees to produce our Vortex jetboats. This facility will allow us to increase our production by as much as 20 percent and continue to improve our manufacturing efficiencies.”