Beneteau shows European boat makers’ pain
SAINT GILLES CROIX DE VIE, France _ Times are tough for European boat makers. But since most don’t divulge financial results, how tough are they exactly? A useful guide here is perhaps France’s Beneteau Group. The world’s largest maker of sail and motor boats reports results regularly. Its latest European figures are dreadful, its outlook grim.
Beneteau Group had group-wide sales in fiscal 2011-12 of €831 million. It reported April 24 this will slip to €810 million in fiscal 2012-13 (which began Sept. 1, 2012). In the first half of the current fiscal year, Beneteau’s boat sales posted a loss of €40m, just better than the €44m loss in the same period of the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Beneteau says “a difficult economic environment in Europe and France in particular” is depressing sales volume and prices. In North and South America and Asia, Beneteau reported sales growth of around 30% for the first half year. “These buoyant regions will contribute toward the Group’s profitability as of next year,” it said. Two thirds of Beneteau Group activities cover boating and one third is leisure and residential housing projects.