Big yacht market flouts stormy weather warnings

Posted on 26 Sep 2011 by The Manufacturer

Despite the stormy economy, the British superyacht industry is sailing along nicely as trade body SuperyachtUK posts annual revenues of £450 million.

While the financial, manufacturing and retail sectors are battening down the hatches for an economic storm, the UK’s superyacht sector is setting its sails for fairer weather.

The latest Superyacht UK (SYUK) survey reports that industry revenues for 2010/11 increased by 6.6% on last year, and is now worth over £450 million a year.

Its members are nearly exclusively UK-based businesses selling UK-manufactured products and services in the global large yacht industry.

The survey reveals slight improvements in all the economic trends measured, with business activity and future expectations rated positively for most measures. But the tough business climate is still affecting monetary measures, with a minority of those responding reporting lower profit margins and lower values in their order books.

Chairman of Superyacht UK Toby Allies said: “We recognise that [the increase in this sector’s value] is due to the strong performance of a number of individual companies who have experienced an increase in new boat orders as well as refit business over 24 metres in length, reinforced with the continual strong performance and quality within the brokerage, design, equipment manufacturing, and financing areas of the sector during this last period as well.”

Yachts over 24 meters – superyachts – include the largest yacht ever built in the UK, Vava II, launched from the DML shipyard in Plymouth in September (main picture, courtesy of The Daily Mail).

Statistics from the latest trends survey show that:

• The revenue of the UK superyacht industry in 2010/11 is now just over £450 million, compared to just over £420 million in 2009/10; an increase of 6.6% from last year.
• 54% report a higher workload over the last 12 months compared to the same period a year ago and just under a fifth (19%) experienced a lower workload; this isa more positive response than the trend for workload reported a year ago for 2009/10 (net balance is +35% now compared to +25% 2009/10)
• 46% reported a higher value order book compared to a year ago with 26% reporting lower value, creating a net balance difference between the positive and negative response of +20% (+14% reported in 2009/10).

The survey was published on September 23, in conjunction with the Monaco Yacht Show (September 21-24), where SYUK will exhibit some British marine prowess with the launch of Pendennis Shipyard’s Yacht Hemisphere, the world’s largest sailing catamaran and Princess Yacht International’s largest yacht to date, Yacht Antheya II.

The Monaco show will feature over 30 UK designed yachts and 19 companies will be located within the UK pavilion. A further 70 UK companies will be present within the exhibition.