UK superyacht industry sales rise to highest since 2008

Sunseeker yacht Image copyright London Boat Show/OnEdition

Sales in the UK's superyacht industry have reached their highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

A report from British Marine, which represents the leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry, said superyacht revenues for the year to April 2016 had reached £605m.

Revenues for the whole sector rose 1.6% to £3.01bn, the first time the £3bn mark has been breached since 2008-2009.

However, the report predicted growth would slow during 2017.

It said uncertainty over Brexit negotiations was likely to curb demand.

Total revenue fell in the wake of financial crisis, reaching its lowest point in the financial year 2011-2012 of £2,85bn and has been gradually picking up since then.

Increased revenue from engine and equipment manufacturing, as well as a jump in sales of hire and charter boats, are believed to have driven the sales increase.

'Remains bullish'

Exports for the year were down 0.7% to £882m but British Marine said that in the last few months the industry had benefited from the fall in the pound against the dollar and the euro since the referendum, as it has boosted buying power from overseas customers.

However, marine businesses surveyed for the report expected that the support from the strong pound would be a short-term benefit.

Howard Pridding, chief executive of British Marine, said: "The industry remains robust - revenue is growing and we are taking on more employees.

"Despite the post-referendum volatility impacting on business and consumer confidence, the industry remains bullish."

The report said industry growth was expected to slow in 2017 "as economic volatility increases closer to and during negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union."

Sunseeker and Princess are the UK's biggest superyacht companies. Globally, the industry is the fourth largest in terms of turnover.

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