Marine Products Corp. reports 1Q results

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Marine Products Corp., maker of Robalo and Chaparral boats, reported an 84.9 percent increase in net sales for the first quarter ending March 31.

For the period, Marine Products generated net sales of $24.49 million, compared to $13.25 million in the same period last year. The increase in net sales was due primarily to a 73.9 percent increase in the number of boats sold, partially offset by a 2.9 percent decrease in the average selling price per boat, according to the manufacturer.

The decrease in average selling price per boat was due to the sale of a higher percentage of smaller boats in the company's Sunesta and Signature Cruiser lines - in response to dealer demand for these products - as compared to the prior year.

Gross profit for the quarter was $3.44 million, or 14.1 percent of net sales, compared to a gross loss of $614,000 in the prior year.

Operating loss for the quarter was $403,000 compared to an operating loss of $4.75 million in the first quarter of last year. The company's operating loss narrowed compared to the prior year because of higher net sales and gross profit, as well as lower selling, general and administrative expenses in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the prior year.

Net loss for the quarter was $80,000 compared to a net loss of $2.49 million in the prior year. There was no loss per share for the quarter compared to a 7 cent loss per share in the prior year.

The company's stock opened this morning at $7.11 per share, though it dropped slightly in mid-morning trading. The 52-week high and low are $7.95 and $3.25, respectively.

"During the first quarter, Marine Products Corporation benefited from lean dealer inventories, a relatively strong winter boat show and retail selling season and our industry position as a quality and innovation leader," CEO Richard Hubbell said in a statement.

"As the selling environment for our products improved and a healthier dealer network was prepared to sell updated products, our unit sales increased by almost 74 percent compared to the first quarter of last year and by more than 88 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009," he added. "Sales of all of our models increased in the first quarter of 2010 compared to both the first and fourth quarters of last year."

Hubbell said the company increased its work force by more than 30 percent for the quarter to keep up with production.

"Our field inventories were approximately 45 percent lower than at this time in 2009, in spite of our increased production," he added. "This indicator gives us confidence in the strength and positioning of our dealer network."

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