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Britains booming superyacht industry reports sixth year of continued growth

Published on: 27 September 2018

New figures released today by Superyacht UK at the Monaco Yacht Show reveal that Britain’s superyacht industry recorded its sixth year of consecutive growth in 2017/2018, with revenues rising to £697 million. This represents a dramatic increase of close to 9% on last year.

Produced by Superyacht UK, an association of British Marine, the findings also highlight the sector’s impressive contribution to the UK economy as a whole. Financial results show that Britain’s superyacht businesses alone account for £520 million in Gross Value Added to the UK, while also generating more than £200 million in taxes for the UK’s exchequer in the same period.

Additional key facts from the report include:

  • Superyacht industry revenue grew 8.9%, to £697m, in 2017/2018
  • Growth is heavily driven by the manufacturing and refit sector, which enjoyed a 15.2% rise in revenue last year. The UK’s elite tier of shipyards, including the likes of Pendennis Shipyard, Sunseeker International and Princess Yachts, are prospering due to an increase in exports as a result of the weak pound and their established brand reputation seen on a global scale
  • The prospect of Brexit and continued uncertainty over the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU remains the industry’s main challenge. In particular, the global market for superyacht services providers is extremely competitive and UK companies operating in this area have struggled over the last year with European partners reluctant to take on the risk of working with businesses based in the UK
  • With the number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) growing globally to record levels in 2017, international trade continues to drive growth across the sector, with equity and real estate market growth supporting an expanding customer base for luxury yachts
  • Two thirds of UK businesses (66%) trading in the superyacht sector are confident about the future of their business with continued growth forecast going into 2019
  • Full time employment in the superyacht sector has risen by 7.7% to 4,572 across the whole of the UK

Lesley Robinson, Chief Executive Officer for British Marine, commented: “The continued global dominance of Britain’s superyacht industry reflects the prestige and outstanding quality of UK businesses and their products and services.

Reflecting on the current political climate, Lesley said: “Despite ongoing political uncertainty, we expect to see further growth into 2019 and continuing demand for UK craftsmanship and expertise across the world’s key markets. As representatives of the industry, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with members and the Government to ensure our market is represented throughout the Brexit negotiations.”

Richard Selby, Head of International Development at British Marine and Superyacht UK, added: “We are delighted to share this positive news about the UK’s thriving superyacht sector as we head to Monaco to showcase the best of British. While there, we will be celebrating 30 years of the iconic Pendennis brand with an exclusive appearance by the world famous Red Arrows on Thursday (27 September) - it’s set to be a fantastic celebration of our industry.”

The 2018 Superyacht UK report can be downloaded for free by British Marine members here