Non-Europe sales save Beneteau’s hide, again
DOMPIERRE SUR YON, France _ For the second year running, boat sales outside of Europe have been a shot in the arm for Beneteau. The world’s biggest yacht maker reported a 28% growth in sales outside of Europe in the 2012-2013 fiscal year that ended in September. Non-Europe sales now account for almost 40% of Beneteau’s overall business. They are “more than offsetting the effects of a difficult economic environment in Europe,” says Beneteau.
In North America, Beneteau saw its boating business rise by 47%. And in Asia and South America _ two “structurally growing regions for pleasure cruising” _ by 26%. In Europe, Beneteau’s boating business shrank by 10% in the past year.
Beneteau markets the Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon and Prestige brands of sailing and motor yachts. As the only boat maker to report meaningful financials, it’s Yacht & Coast’s boating sector bellwether.
Beneteau recorded global boat sales of 624 million in the 2012-13 financial year, up a modest 2.3% from the previous year. Growth “outside of Europe … makes it possible, as of 2013, to offset the European boat market’s difficulties,” Beneteau said. Its sales outside of Europe rose 28% to €232 million” _ or 37% of its global sales.
Beneteau Group said it looks to 2014 “with confidence.” It plans to expand its model lines in both sailing and motor boats that boast more than 100 models of up to 60 feet..