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Business Observer Thursday, Jul. 28, 2011 10 years ago

Boat retailer profitable again

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Clearwater-based MarineMax posts strongest financial results in years.

CLEARWATER — After losing roughly $4.5 million in the first three months of 2011, boat retailer MarineMax Inc. (symbol: HZO) rebounded in its most recently concluded quarter, posting profits of $3.4 million.

Revenues increased 33% for MarineMax over the year, from $115 million to $153 million, causing its operating income to more than triple, from $1.2 million in the spring of 2010 to $3.9 million this year.

“It appears the customer is returning,” says MarineMax CEO William McGill, despite a continued lack of overall confidence among most consumers.

Despite the recent success, MarineMax still has a ways to go before achieving sustained profitability. So far, the firm has lost $5.8 million over the first nine months of its 2011 fiscal year, which began in July 2010. Still, those losses are much smaller than those of the prior year, when MarineMax posted pre-tax losses of $15.1 million through the first nine months of its 2010 fiscal year.

The value of MarineMax's common stock has increased 26% over the past year, to $9.39 per share — but is still well below the company's all-time high of nearly $37 from April 2006.

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