RV dealer profit margins narrowed significantly during 2000, according to retail consultant firm the Spader Companies.

For the average dealer with over $5 million in annual sales revenue, profit margins, defined as net earnings divided by total sales revenue, declined to 2.7% in 2000, compared with 3.4% during 1999, the Spader firm reports.

In dollar terms, net earnings at the larger dealership declined 20.4% in 2000 to an average of $325,585.

However, sales revenue at the larger dealerships remained relatively strong last year. Sales declined 1% to an average of $11,873,760 in 2000, compared with $11,997,672 during the exceptionally robust year 1999.

Meanwhile, RV dealers with less than $5 million in annual sales had a more difficult time last year. Their profit margins declined to an average of 1.2% of sales, compared with 3.3% in 1999.

In dollar terms, net earnings at smaller dealerships fell an average of 67.8% to $42,125 and total dealership sales declined 10.1% to $3,581,110, according to the Spader firm.