Luxury yacht builder, Sunseeker International, has sailed into profit after implementing their ambitious £50 million turnaround plan

One of Britain’s biggest boat builders, Sunseeker International, has announced that it has returned to profit.

Audited accounts reveal that it moved back to profit with a £6million (EBITDA) for the year ending 31 December 2016.

Like many luxury British boat builders, Sunseeker struggled following the financial crisis.

But the introduction of a new executive team saw a period of significant change and restructuring within the business.

A £50 million investment plan was drawn up, which saw investment in new products, shipyards, growth in its global dealer network, and the recruitment of skilled staff and apprentices.

2016 was a defining year for Sunseeker International, during which it delivered five new models, a record number for any one year, and saw its forward order book increase by 41% by volume year-on-year.

Luxury motor yacht from British boat yard Sunseeker International

Manhattan 52 is now the brand’s fastest-selling model to-date. Credit: Mike Jones

The figures reflect a £36million (EBITDA) profit improvement since 2014 and are the result of a significant restructuring and refocusing of the business, together with substantial investment across new product, improved facilities and its people.

Sunseeker said the market reaction to these new products has been particularly strong and has helped the business increase revenue by 25% from £202.6million in 2015 to £252.4million, creating a strong platform for future profitable growth.

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As well as creating over 400 new jobs since 2014, the company has announced plans to recruit a further 170 people in 2017 to support further volume growth.

Sunseeker International launched a record five new models across the size range in 2016 from the Manhattan 52 and Predator 68 to the larger 95, 116 and 131 Yachts, collectively securing over £220million of orders at retail value to-date.

The Manhattan 52, which won the award for ‘Best Flybridge up to 55ft’ at the 2017 Motor Boat Awards, is now the brand’s fastest-selling model to-date with over 80 retail orders in its first five months.

Luxury British boat firm, Sunseeker International launches it 131 Yacht in 2016

Sunseeker 131

Commenting, the CEO of Sunseeker, Phil Popham, said it had been a “remarkable turnaround in such a short space of time” and much it can be attributed to the company’s strategy to continually invest across the key areas of the business, especially its products.

“New and exciting products breed growth in this market and the response we have had for our latest models has been nothing short of incredible,” he noted.

“We are confident this is going to continue too as we will be investing a further £50 million across the business to support a bold product plan that will see many more new introductions over the next few years,” he continued.

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Thanking the whole Sunseeker team and its shareholder, Wanda Group, for its dedication, support and hard work, Popham said: “The business is on a fresh course, not just to strengthen our position as Britain’s largest boat builder, but as the global leader for luxury performance superyachts.”

“All this, underpinned by a strong forward order book, means we are extremely excited about the future,” added the CEO.

Sunseeker Manhattan 66 launch at London Boat Show

Actress Joanna Lumley launches the new Manhattan 66. Credit: onEdition

The multiple product model launches are set to continue as part of a long-term product plan, which will see several new model introductions over the next five years.

Already in 2017, Sunseeker has launched two new models, the Manhattan 66 and 68 Sport Yacht, which were revealed at the London Boat Show in January.

Further introductions are planned for later in the year.