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The industry gauges consumer confidence during winter - MarineBusinessWorld North America newsletter

by Peter Rendle 31 Jan 12:00 PST
MarineMax Jupiter Palm Beach Service Center © MarineMax

Positive news from MarineMax In. (NYSE: HZO), as the world's largest recreational boat, yacht and superyacht services company, announced results for its first quarter ended December 31, 2023. Fiscal 2024 First Quarter Summary: Record December quarter revenue of $527.3 million. Same-store sales increase of 4%. Gross profit margin of 33.3%.

"I'm proud of our team's ability to drive a strong close to the December quarter, generating the highest first quarter revenue in our history. This growth came despite a challenging retail environment which required us to take more aggressive pricing actions than expected," said Brett McGill, Chief Executive Officer and President of MarineMax. "Our pricing actions did result in lower gross margins and profitability. This was primarily due to increased discounting on certain boat models in response to the softer retail environment, as well as a greater mix of larger boats, which historically carry a lower gross margin than other product categories."

From Europe, and after nine days of boot Düsseldorf, the boating and water sports industry can deliver a positive verdict on the trade fair. "We had many new contacts at our stands and were able to conclude numerous deals. The right visitors ensured very good sales figures in the boat sector as well as for motors/engines, boards, diving equipment and accessories. boot 2024 provided the perfect start to the season," explains exhibitor spokesperson and trade fair president Robert Marx.

Despite very difficult conditions - from the arrival of winter weather to strikes - boot Düsseldorf once again demonstrates its excellent international standing in the industry. Accordingly, CEO & President of Messe Düsseldorf Wolfram Diener is very pleased with the positive outcome: "With 214,000 visitors from 120 countries, we have achieved a good result and can be more than satisfied in these challenging times. Customers and exhibitors have a unique platform for networking here. It's great, we were once again able to underpin boot Düsseldorf's leading position with an inspiring business atmosphere in the exhibition halls."

And back home, the Discover Boating Minneapolis Boat Show, in partnership with Progressive Insurance, reports strong crowds during its four-day run, attracting more than 25,000 attendees. Overall, feedback from exhibitors has been positive, with several reporting solid sales and leads from the show, particularly among entry-level buyers. "We outpaced pre-Covid sales and are satisfied with the results of this year's boat show following a record 2023 selling year," noted John Wooden, President, River Valley Marine. "We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of entry level price point buyers. We look forward to returning in 2025."

This week, The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), became the newest member of the eFuel Alliance. The eFuel Alliance stands for fair competition and equal competitive condition for all relevant emission reduction solutions and aims to create the conditions for the industrial production and widespread use of CO2-neutral fuels from renewable sources of energy.

"The eFuels Alliance brings much-needed focus to one of the most pragmatic and meaningful ways to continue to reduce emissions from the existing recreational boat fleet, and we're excited to collaborate with other industries and participate in important discussions on bringing myriad sustainable fuel options to the market," said Jeff Wasil, Senior Director of Environmental Health and Safety at the NMMA.

"Recreational boats operate very differently from land-based vehicles and require multiple technology solutions to decarbonize. With approximately 30-million recreational boats in operation globally, sustainable marine fuels, including the development of e-fuels, are essential to further reduce emissions from our sector. As we chart the course for continued decarbonization in the marine industry, we are looking forward to bringing our industry's research and experience to the eFuels Alliance and are thrilled about the opportunity to learn from the accomplishments achieved thus far within Europe by the alliance and how they may apply in United States."

On the same subject, sailors replacing transom-mounted propulsion are increasingly opting for clean, quiet, eco-friendly Elco EP-series outboards. Providing the horsepower comparable to a 2- or -4-stroke gasoline engine, they can extend the serenity of sailing to even motoring in and out of a harbor. Having sufficient power to get back to the dock when becalmed or before a front moves in is often a concern for sailors. Elco outboards deliver over 90% efficiency and an impressive thrust ratio. Combined with an extensive range, they provide sailors with the peace of mind that a safe haven is always quickly within reach.

More propulsion news from Rolls Royce. Their Power Systems Division this week announced it has opened a new Remanufacturing and Overhaul Center on its mtu Aiken campus in South Carolina. The new facility is connected to the existing manufacturing operations and represents a low double-digit million-dollar investment. It supports the company's service initiative and sustainability approach.

The new 69,000-sq.ft. (6,400 sqm) facility, which was announced in 2021, brings formerly outsourced workshop and warehouse operations in-house and expands them to provide remanufacturing and overhaul of mtu Series 2000, Series 4000 and Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines and components, plus internal and external rework services. Initially focused on parts remanufacturing for after sales support, the facility targets to remanufacture 20,000 parts per year once fully operational, thus greatly improving spare part availability and customer support in the region.

More North American marine industry news at - we update the news daily.

Stay on track,
Peter Rendle -

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