MarineMax share prices surged 25% in early trading after the company released its fourth quarter earnings report. The largest boat retailer in the US had sales of US$250.6m for its fourth quarter ended September 30, 2017, up 10% compared to the same period a year ago. Same-store sales for the quarter increased 5%. Net income fell to US$3.9m compared to US$5.6m a year ago. The company said that its profits fell because of US$2.9m Hurricane Irma expenses.

For its fiscal year, MarineMax had sales of US$1.1bn, up 12% compared to the previous year. Net income was US$23.5m compared to US$22.6m. Excluding Irma-related expenses its pretax earnings were up 17% for the year.

“The MarineMax Team delivered a strong close to the fiscal year as we did our best to overcome the challenges brought on by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey,” said William McGill, chairman and CEO. “We were able to grow sales and expand gross margins, driven by improving product margins and meaningful contributions from our higher margin businesses.”

McGill reported that “choppiness” continues in the big-boat segment. “We are working closely with our manufacturing partners to ensure inventory is aligned with retail trends,” said McGill. “Fortunately, each of our manufacturers has done a good job launching new models in the last few years, leaving our inventory about as fresh as it has ever been. We have also added initiatives to better align expenses with the current environment.”

McGill said he remains “enthusiastic” about the long-term strength of the industry given “ongoing activity with our customers.”

The company forecasts fully taxed earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $1.10 to $1.20 for fiscal 2018.