CLEARWATER — MarineMax Inc. (symbol: HZO) lost $4.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, a year after bringing in $10.2 million in profits in the comparable quarter. The Clearwater-based boat retailer earned $92.2 million in quarterly revenues, down 8% over the year.
The numbers show a drastic swing in profitability, but the company's 2009 numbers were significantly impacted by a tax benefit carried over from previous losses. Specifically, MarineMax took advantage of a $19.3 million tax benefit at the end of 2009, which turned a $9.1 million loss into a $10.2 million gain.
A struggling economy put pressure on the company's performance in both years, said William McGill, president, chairman and CEO. But one trend in particular bodes well for the company's future.
“Our new boat sales were up substantially compared to the prior year and we were able to improve our gross margins,” McGill said. Those improvements, however, were offset by declines in used boat sales, resulting in the quarterly loss.
Regardless, McGill's outlook remains positive.
“MarineMax has a streamlined expense structure, an attractive footprint of stores, industry leading brands, a proven customer-focused strategy and the financial strength to take advantage of opportunities as they arise,” he said.
Headquartered in Clearwater, MarineMax Inc. is the nation's largest boat retailer.