by Julia Bradshaw, The Daily Telegraph, January 9, 2017
Britain’s superyacht and leisure boat industry is booming after posting its highest sales figures since the financial crisis.
Sales in the luxury boating market defied Brexit jitters to rise 1.6pc to £3.01bn in the year to April 2016, marking the first time that revenues topped £3bn since the economic crisis in 2008, according to the British Marine Federation, the trade body for the industry.
Howard Pridding, chief executive of British Marine, said the sector was taking on more employees, despite post-referendum volatility hitting business and consumer confidence.
Engines and equipment manufacturing drove the sales growth, rising 8.8pc to £335m, while there was a 6.8pc jump in revenue generated from hire, passenger and charter boats to £351m.
Philip Green's yacht, Lionheart, docks in Malta
Marinas and moorings revenues increased by 3.6pc to £222m, while business support services - which include financial services, design, engineering, marketing and IT - rose 2.7pc to £145m.
Several high-profile figures, such as Roman Abramovich, own superyachts, although some of the biggest in the world belong to members of the royal family in the United Arab Emirates.
The industry came into the spotlight last year after MPs raised the prospect of seizing the multi-million pound superyacht owned by former BHS owner Sir Philip Green to plug the £571m hole in the retailer’s pension fund.
His yacht, called Lionheart, is reportedly worth £100m.
British Marine’s industry trends survey shows that business confidence in the industry has jumped by 17pc since July.
While manufacturer’s raw material costs have increased because of the weaker pound, the exchange rate has made British yachts and services more attractive to foreign buyers.
“As a result, confidence is high among boat builders trading in international markets,” British marine said.
This article was written by Julia Bradshaw from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.