PSP Southampton Boat Show 2012 - BMF State of the Industry
Published on 14/9/2012
As we open the gates to the PSP Southampton Boat Show, the 44th Show in the city, the UK leisure marine industry continues to perform creditably, despite the continuing global economic turbulence.
Although trading conditions have been very challenging for BMF members, with many tough decisions having to be made, our hard work and commitment to quality and excellence across the industry has ensured that the vast majority of leisure marine businesses have continued to operate successfully.
But it is clear that conditions still remain tough. According to the latest trends survey from the BMF, which covered the period November 2011-May 2012, there has been a slight uplift in the export market workload from six months ago but overall the value of both the home and export markets are reported at a similar level as May-November 2011. Overall business activity trends are also fairly unchanged from the last survey as well as measures of turnover, profit and investments which are in line with the output of the whole of the UK GDP.
Headlines from the May 2012 survey results include:
- The level of marine business activity over the six months in question remained fairly consistent with trends reported in November 2011: 31% of members reported an increase in activity while 33% reported a decrease (net balance of -2%)
- Future business prospects have improved marginally beyond expectations as reported in November 2011: 35% expect the next 6 months to be good/excellent, 45% believe it will be OK and 21% think it will be poor for business
- Turnover and Profit: While revenue is holding up, margins are being continually squeezed. 42% of members reported they have higher turnover than November 2010-May 2011 though 35% experienced lower turnover (net balance of +7%). Moreover, profits show an overall negative trend with 44% reporting a decline in profits compared to 29% showing an increase (net balance of -15%)
Levels of investment show encouraging signs for the future, with 30% of members investing more and only 19% investing less than the same six month period a year ago (net balance +11%). This is important as it shows businesses are seeking to adapt and refocus to ensure they stay ahead of international competition during a period of economic stagnation or slow growth.
This year our sector has experienced positive media and public attention with sailing, rowing and canoeing gaining a significant profile during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Meanwhile the launch of the Canal & River Trust has brought into existence a large new charity determined to encourage more people to use and enjoy the inland waterways.
The BMF team continues to do everything it can to help members seize new opportunities where they may arise. The Federation acts as a voice for the industry to the media, Government and policy makers, pressing for a favourable environment in which to do business and positioning the leisure marine industry as strategically important to UK PLC through initiatives such as the ‘Make it in Great Britain’ campaign.