For the fourth consecutive year, Britain's superyacht sector is reporting growth. The fall in the pound means many overseas buyers are now buying British.
Figures released by British Marine reveal that for the fourth consecutive year, Britain’s superyacht industry has seen growth.
Global demand for British superyachts has helped industry revenue increase by more than 11.5% in 2015/16 to £605 million.
This comes despite the uncertainty and financial volatility surrounding the EU referendum.
According to British Marine, British products, services and expertise continue to be in “high demand from international markets, cementing the UK as a hub for the superyacht industry.”
The figures come as UK businesses head to the Monaco Yacht Show, which begins on 28 September.
Major exhibitors include international superyacht service providers, Burgess Yachts, who will be exhibiting the largest superyacht at the show – the 90m Athena – and the Plymouth-based Princess Yachts, who will be showcasing their 30M and 40M motor yachts.
British Marine said its research showed that full time employment in Britain’s superyacht industry had grown by 4.5%, with the sector now employing 4,125 people.
Business confidence is also high, with 75% of companies positive about the next 12 months.
Earlier this month, Sunseeker International announced a £50 million investment plan after the company revealed it was back in to profit in the second quarter of 2016.
British Marine said the majority of its members were reporting high levels of confidence post-EU referendum.
This is in stark contrast to the sharp falls in business optimism recorded in August among British small and medium sized enterprises in non-marine industries.
Productivity levels are rising, with 72% of respondents reporting an increase in business activity, compared to 61% in the last survey
The global superyacht boatbuilding and refit sectors, as well as aftermarket and service businesses, have also grown rapidly since the recession.
This has had knock-on benefits for UK jobs, with 50% of UK superyacht manufacturers reporting an increase in staff numbers.
One in five supply chain businesses, such as specialist galley fitters and interior designers, are also reporting an increase in their workforce
The chairman of Superyacht UK, Peter Brown, said the UK superyacht sector continued to outperform the rest of the marine industry and the domestic economy.
“From yacht design and new build, to legal services, we have the breadth of expertise to act as a hub for the global superyacht industry,” he commented.
“Another year of impressive growth can be put down to businesses taking advantage of this hub status, strong market fundamentals and the growing global demand for British products and services,” he added.
Brown said that with market dynamics strong, the superyacht sector is expected to continue to post positive revenue growth over the next 12 months.
“The decision to leave the EU is likely to dampen this growth, but the sector is showing confidence going into the end of the year,” he noted.
“This is because we have less exposure to domestic economic risk and a depreciation in sterling has strengthened the purchasing power of our overseas buyers,” explained Brown.
Commenting on the findings, the international development manager for Superyacht UK and British Marine, Richard Selby, said: “Recent years have seen greater demand for yacht sales from international markets, including Asia and the US.”
“This has led British builders to shift their focus to bespoke yacht builds. We are seeing this particularly with Sunseeker, which is now the number two shipyard in the world, and Princess, which has stood out as a leading global brand over the last few years,” he continued.
“Both builders now regularly compete with rivals in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany,” added Selby.