The UK’s top boatbuilders struggle in 2014

The UK’s top boatbuilders have all revealed financial details indicating a tough year in 2014. Princess Yachts International is the latest UK builder to share initial results for its financial year ended December 2014, reporting a loss of -£11.3m, although turnover held up for the year at £239.6m, compared to £239.4m in 2013.

The company has not yet filed its audited accounts so further details are not available, but in a statement released in October Princess attributed its results in part to the impact of hurricane-force storms which caused millions of pounds-worth of damage to facilities and stock at its Plymouth facility in February 2014.

Based on turnover, Princess’ reported results make it the UK’s largest builder in 2014, ahead of Sunseeker International which posted turnover of £199.5m for the same 12-month period.  Sunseeker also reported a net loss (after taxes) of -£49m, putting the disappointing results down to severe economic headwinds in certain key markets, a tough competitive landscape, and exceptional items of -£6.6m for restructuring and non-recurring warranty costs.

As of December 2013, motoryacht builder Fairline Boats was the UK’s third largest builder with turnover of £56.8m. However, the company was recently acquired and also extended its 2014 financial year by six months, so no current financial details are available on the company, but it is thought that sales are likely to have declined.

The UK’s next biggest yards are Oyster Marine and Pendennis Shipyards. Oyster, which is currently building luxury sailing yachts from 47ft-118ft at two UK locations together with refit work, generated turnover of £37.3m for 2014 (down 11%), but improved its profitability to £300,000 from a loss of -£920,000 in 2013.

Pendennis, which also offers both new builds and refit work in the yacht sector, showed a minor decline in 2014 turnover to £36.9m, from £37.1m the previous year. Despite a 10% drop in profits, Pendennis outstripped all of its UK builder peers to achieve positive net income (after taxes) of £2.3m

 

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