A doldrums 2012 for popular boat brands
2012 ended with the Dutch yachting lobby HISWA announcing a 30% staff cut and popular European boat brands reporting wafer-thin sales. For happy faces go to the yards of Dutch super yacht makers. More recession-proof, they ended 2012 with orders for more than 60 yachts.
Beneteau _ maker of the Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon and Prestige sailing and motor boat brands _ reported sales of €831 million, down from €922 million in 2011. Its boat division lost €5.4 million, down from a 2011 operating income of €54.4 million. Beneteau Group _ boats and housing _ had an operating income of only €200,000! “The tense economic climate in the majority of European markets affected sales,” the world’s biggest boat maker said. Beneteau said it was “not yet fully benefiting from the strong sales growth” in Asia and the Americas and will unlikely pay out any dividend for 2012.
Hanse Yachts _ maker of the Hanse, Moody, Dehler and Varianta brands _ struggles with a costlier-than-expected restructuring. It closed the Dehler site in Freienohl and moved it to its home at Greifswald, 600 km away on Germany’s Baltic Sea Coast. In June, Hanse reported a meager 1.5% rise in sales _ to €73.3 million for the previous year _ but a loss of €6.7 million. Bavaria releases no financials.
In the Netherlands, underscoring the plight of sales of new boats, sales of 2nd hand sailing and motor yachts rose by 12% and 15% in the 3rd quarter compared to the same 2011 period _ a big uptick from a disappointing first half.
In an interview with the daily De Volkskrant, HISWA chief Farouk Nefza estimated the turnover in the very large yachts sector at €600 million. The sector needs a proactive government. “There are (sales) opportunities in, for instance, Brazil, Russia and the Mideast that we can only exploit if diplomats actively support that,” said Nefza. The slump of 2012 forced HISWA to dismiss 12 workers and cut workload.