Superyacht UK (SYUK) announced figures for its annual survey prior to the Monaco Yacht Show, which show that the UK superyacht industry is beginning to show modest signs of growth.

SYUK represents 220 members, which equates to 70 per cent of the UK’s superyacht work force, covering design, build, supply chain and services for yachts over 24m. Revenue statistics were taken from 210 members, with 138 members completing the trends survey.

Overall, the revenue of the industry has increased from £440 million for the 2011/2012 period, up to £460 million in 2012/2013, a positive increase of +3.9 per cent year on year, a stark contrast to the previous year which indicated a -2.2 per cent decline. However, as would be expected, this positive indication is in no way as optimistic as the trends of the survey pre-recession, which showed +15.3 per cent in 2008/9 and +14.8 per cent in 2007/08.

While not reaching the highs of the heyday figures before the Global Financial Crisis, this growth is indicative that the UK industry is slowly, but surely, reaching a level of stability and growth. In terms of profits 40 per cent of respondents noted an upturn in their profits compared to the previous year, with 27 per cent registering a dip in their revenue. This equates to a +13 per cent net balance for the 2012/13 period, as opposed to -1 per cent in 2011/12, and is a return to 2010/11 figures of +16 per cent.

Indeed, throughout the report it highlights that trends are now aligning themselves with those reported in 2010/11, which were more positive than the 2011/12 period.

UK superyacht revenue over time

The report surveyed 3,550 full time employees within the superyacht industry. Over half of those respondents - 63 per cent - found that their workforce had remained level over the past year, with a positive 27 per cent increase in some superyacht workforces. At a time when unemployment rates in Britain are at 7.8 per cent, this positive growth is encouraging for the UK industry.

While superyacht construction is not as prolific in the UK as it is for juggernauts in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, 57 per cent of those surveyed are involved in the new build sectors. While this no doubt include the actual building of superyachts, this also encompasses design and supply services. In fact, 43 per cent reported a higher value for their order book for 2012/13, up slightly from 40 per cent the previous year. Those that registered a drop in their order book comprised just under a quarter, at 24 per cent, down 1 per cent from the previous year.

Overall, the UK industry does seem to be taking a positive upturn, as these figures suggest, although we must, as in previous years approach this with cautious optimism: nobody is expecting an upturn, either in the UK and globally, that will match the pre-recession figures.

“The strength of the UK superyacht sector can again be seen in this year’s survey results. Our members design, build and supply the finest superyachts in the world and their skills and expertise are in ever increasing demand, “ said Tom Chant, international development manager at SYUK. “We will continue to work hard with our members to ensure the heritage the UK has in this sector continues well into the future.” With 69 per cent seeing the future prospects of the next 12 months as good or excellent, this future is looking to be quite positive.

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