Exports grow at fastest rate for seven years
New figures, released today in a report by Superyacht UK, an association within British Marine, come as UK businesses head to Monaco Yacht Show to showcase the best of British.
Despite continued uncertainty that followed the EU referendum and recent General Election, the UK’s superyacht sector remains buoyant, posting its fifth consecutive year of growth, contributing £450m in Gross Value Added to UK GDP, while generating an estimated £186m in taxes for the UK exchequer.
The new statistics show that:
- Industry revenue has grown 1.7% to £615m
- Superyacht sector exports to both the EU and the rest of the world have grown at their fastest rate in the last 7 years, with supply chain businesses finding a particularly buoyant market for their products outside of the EU
- Three in five businesses trading in the sector are confident about the future
- The UK’s superyacht service and support businesses continue to be world leaders
- Full time employment figures have risen 3.3% to 4,244
A sector in transition
The report indicates that a period of transition is shaping the UK superyacht sector as motor yacht builders look to shift into larger custom new build projects to compete with Europe’s largest builders.
As international owners look to update the yachts they already own, UK refit activity has increased, accounting for 58% of the manufacturing market, with UK shipyards benefitting from Sterling’s depreciation and improved cost competitiveness. Superyacht companies such as Pendennis and Burgess are increasingly attracting business from the EU.
With a third of superyacht owners based in the UK, and the country providing an attractive hub for both owners and maritime businesses seeking quality, expertise and efficiency, the UK’s network of designers, shipyards, charter companies, brokerages, distributors, suppliers and service businesses continues to thrive.
Howard Pridding, Chief Executive Officer at British Marine, said: “Confidence in the sector is high and we expect to see further growth into 2018, despite the ongoing political uncertainty. Our sector is primarily driven by a customer base that is less exposed to economic risk, be it in the UK or the EU, meaning the UK market remains strong.”
Commenting on the UK’s position as a hub for both owners and maritime businesses seeking quality, expertise and efficiency, Pridding said: “UK designers and builders continue to be in global demand, but we must also celebrate the supply chain and support services, which really set the UK apart from its competitors.”
On rising production costs versus UK currency depreciation, he added: “The EU is the primary supplier of marine raw materials and components for UK boat manufacturers. While costs of manufacturing have risen +5.98% between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017 due to the weakened pound, Sterling’s depreciation is a net benefit for exporting manufacturers – foreign customers’ purchasing power is stronger than ever.”