Superyacht industry holding firm in tough economic times
Published on 17/9/2012
The UK superyacht industry has continued to weather the economic storm in 2011-12, according to figures released to coincide with the Monaco Yacht Show. Superyacht UK (SYUK), an association of the British Marine Federation (BMF), today releases its sixth annual survey of members which shows that in a challenging economic climate the industry has maintained a consistent performance with revenue of over £440 million.
The results are launched at the start of the Monaco Yacht Show, the most prestigious superyacht boat show in the world, which this year runs from Wednesday 19th to Saturday 22nd September and will feature a strong British presence. While the revenue figure of £440 million represents a slight decrease of 2.2% on the previous year, it still exceeds pre-2010 revenue levels.
As well as maintaining current performance levels, vitally the industry also shows several promising signs for the future. 40% report a higher value of the order book for 2011/12 compared to the same period last year and over half of members rate prospects for the next twelve months as good or excellent. Employment figures also remain stable at just over 3,500 full time employees, representing a slight decrease of 2.6% on the previous year.
The diverse nature of the UK’s offering to the superyacht sector has allowed the industry to weather the continuing recession relatively well thanks to its refit, broking, design, insurance and legal offerings. British designers have also contributed well, being involved in 87 out of 194 superyacht launches over the course of the year.
Pendennis, a leading superyacht builder, is one of many success stories coming from the UK superyacht industry in the last year. Following the completion of the World’s largest sailing catamaran, S.Y. Hemisphere, the company welcomed the world’s longest single-masted sailing yacht - the 75m S.Y. m5 (ex. Mirabella V) - to Falmouth for a substantial refit. Her arrival in spring 2012 marked the culmination of one of the busiest winter refit seasons in the yard’s 24 year history and complemented two other completed projects by summer 2012, including two major Feadship refits, firstly M.Y. Heavenly Daze followed by the major rebuild of M.Y. A2 (ex. Masquerade of Sole). Moreover, Pendennis already has a number of clients committed to the 2012/13 refit season with a strong order book going forward.
Terry Smallwood, Director of Kelvin Hughes navigation and surveillance systems, commented: “Whilst the Industry is getting tougher we have again enjoyed a high growth level improving our revenue and margins by over 14%. One key initiative contributed to this: we opened an office in Antibes enabling us to massively improve the level of face to face contact with our existing and potential clientele. We are already increasing personnel in the new office, and have very aggressive targets for FY 2013. If we continue to embrace the market professionally, I have no doubt of a positive result.”
SYUK Chairman, Albert Levy summarised the year: “2012 will be remembered as a golden year for yachting in the UK. In particular there were the two J Class Regattas, the Pendennis Cup in Falmouth as well as the Superyacht Cup in Cowes. Never have so many large yachts converged on UK waters to be served by world class companies. The London Olympics with superbly organised sailing attracted some of the world’s largest Superyachts.”
To view the full Superyacht UK stats results please download the report HERE.