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Profits continued to be sharply higher at smaller RV dealerships through November 2001, despite lower new RV unit sales revenue and new RV unit inventories, according to consultant firm The Spader Companies.

The Spader firm defines smaller dealerships as those with less than $5 million in annual sales revenue.

Last year could be viewed as the year when profits at the average smaller RV dealership recovered to more acceptable levels. During the first 11 months of 2001, net earnings at the average smaller dealership soared 75% higher to $131,102.

During the first 11 months of 2000, net profits at the average smaller dealership amounted to $74,888, the Spader firm reported.

The sharp rise in profits occurred despite declines in total and new RV unit sales revenue at the average smaller dealership. Total sales declined 1% during the first 11 months of 2001 to $3,441,357 and new RV unit sales revenue slipped 5% lower to $1,976,406, the Spader firm reported.

During the first 11 months of 2001, the average smaller dealer’s profit margin (net profit as a percentage of total sales) was 3.8%, the same as was the case with the average larger dealership during the same period.

Meanwhile, new RV unit inventories at the average smaller dealership were down 4% as of last Nov. 30 to $922,383, compared with $957,800 as of Nov. 30, 2000.