The luxury yacht builders confirmed the forced job losses at the end of a 'strategic review' that was announced in January.

Princess Yachts has confirmed that 172 of its employees will lose their jobs.

A statement from the company said the 172 forced redundancies had been reduced from its January forecast of 350 by way of talks with its workers and their union representatives as well as voluntary severances handed out to some employees.

Job losses were announced as a certainty in January as part of a company-wide restructuring.

The Princess statement said: “Princess Yachts has completed the restructuring of manufacturing at its Plymouth headquarters which began in January as part of the company’s strategic review.

“Thanks to positive engagement with the workforce and trade union representatives, and a number of employees seeking voluntary severance, the company has been able to minimise the impact of redundancies – maintaining the overall staff establishment at 2,050.

“The total number of compulsory job losses required will now be 172 – fewer than half the figure that was originally envisaged.

“For those staff members who are affected by this process, the company is to establish an out-placement service designed to assist in securing future employment. An appeals process has also been put in place.

“Princess Yachts is now looking ahead to a successful and prosperous 2016, with the delivery of yachts into both new and well-established markets, and buoyant order books following strong performances at recent boat shows.”


January 6

Princess Yachts are to cut 350 jobs out of 2000 as part of a large-scale restructuring of manufacturing at its Plymouth headquarters, the company announced today.

The cuts will affect the back office, development and production divisions.

However the luxury yacht manufacturers’ attendance at the Southampton, Ft Lauderdale and Cannes boat shows has proved beneficial and orders of their craft remains strong.

Princess will be attending The London Boat Show where they will launch the new Princess 75.

The company’s Managing Director Chris Gates said: “The strategic review of our business and the steps we are taking to improve production at our Plymouth headquarters have laid the foundations for an ambitious year. Our expanded range – with six new models launched in just six months – is the envy of the industry, and our continued commitment to the finest British materials and peerless craftsmanship will always set Princess apart.
“We have invested heavily in state-of-the-art facilities and product development while our competitors’ businesses have been contracting, and we are proud of our commitment to Plymouth, having maintained a consistently high level of employment throughout the recessionary period. However, like all successful companies, we need to be able to adapt and adjust the constitution of our workforce periodically.
“Today’s announcement of job losses, although not undertaken lightly, is designed to maintain the business in the best possible shape for the next phase in its evolution. Princess’ 50th anniversary finds the company starting the year at both the London and Düsseldorf boat shows with new model launches and strong plans for the future.”

The South West-based luxury yacht builders announced the job losses in the following press release:
Princess Yachts is to undertake large-scale restructuring of manufacturing at its Plymouth headquarters, with the loss of up to 350 employees, the company announced today. Having successfully weathered what proved to be a gruelling year for Britain’s yacht-building industry in 2014/15 – with factory closures, redundancies and insolvency among its competitors – Princess is looking to the new year with confidence and is implementing a range of long-term strategic measures designed to steer the business and its 2,000-strong workforce securely into the future. With six new models across the M Class, S Class, V Class and Flybridge yacht ranges taking the company into new markets and sectors, and strong order books following good performances at the Cannes, Southampton and Ft. Lauderdale boat shows, Princess is entering 2016 with assurance and optimism. Today’s announcement of job losses affecting back office, development and production divisions, while regrettable, forms part of a strategic plan to improve productivity across the company’s Plymouth facilities. Despite the tough trading climate from 2008 onwards, high staff levels had been maintained as the company evolved its infrastructure across key sites and invested in the development of new models. With the launch of the enhanced range this year, the workforce can now be scaled back without loss of capacity. Princess’ ongoing investment programme will see its world-class range develop even further – and a number of new initiatives are under way to secure greater market share and brand recognition. Princess continues to outperform the yacht industry in the face of unprecedented challenges. Persistent unfavourable euro/sterling exchange rates, recessionary pressures in target markets, and hurricane-force storms in 2014 that caused hundreds of millions of pounds worth of damage across the South West, meant that the company reported a modest loss – £11.3m on turnover of £239.5m – in 2014. (For context, Princess posted a profit of £4.8m in 2013.)


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