Groupe Beneteau reports its robust financial position

Following a year marked by the consequences of Covid-19 in 2020, Groupe Beneteau says it is moving forward in 2021 with a robust financial position.

For this new financial year, it is forecasting a stable level of business, combined with income from ordinary operations growth of over 60% compared with 2020.

It says it had stronger interest in recreational boat use, with strong demand for dayboating in particular, and therefore sales of small motorboats (under 40 feet). The segment for boats over 40 feet is also expected to be very buoyant. The group is forecasting 10% growth at constant exchange rates for motorboat sales.

On the mono and multihull sailing market, with the strength of Beneteau, Jeanneau and Lagoon and the emergence over the past two years of Excess, the group’s second catamaran brand, sales to retail customers are expected to grow 2%.

Thus Groupe Beneteau is forecasting around 5% growth for its boat division, excluding fleets.

However, sales of sailing units to charter professionals, a very dynamic component of its revenues for the past decade, are being affected by the air transport and travel restrictions. While this promising activity is expected to start up again from 2022, the company has adopted a cautious position in view of its current difficulties, forecasting a contraction of around 50% in its charter sales in 2021, following a 15% drop for the 16 months of FY 2019-2020.

Overall, the boat division’s revenues are expected to be virtually stable in 2021 compared with the 2020 calendar year.

Going forward, Groupe Beneteau says it’ll be strengthening its ecological solutions, with the arrival of electric propulsion units offered for an initial selection of sailing yachts and motorboats.

It’ll be developing complementary and ‘innovative offerings’ for the four leading brands (Beneteau, Jeanneau, Prestige and Lagoon) in its four strategic markets (dayboating, real estate on the water, monohull and multihull sailing), while overhauling the lineup of the four challenger brands (Four Winns, Wellcraft, Delphia and Excess).

The company says it’ll also be rolling out the ‘connected boat’ systems to improve the on-board experience and further enhance the services offered by dealers.

It’s forecasting a gradual upturn in demand from outdoor hospitality customers from May 2021. This is expected to be accompanied by a resumption of investment in leisure home fleets, paving
the way for its housing division to achieve growth of around 5% to 6% compared with FY 2020, on a pro forma basis.

Groupe Beneteau’s consolidated business is therefore expected to stabilise this year at the level from the 2020 calendar year. The progress with the order books to date covers more than 90% of this revenue forecast.

Due to the capacity adaptation measures rolled out in 2020, and the reduction of various fixed costs, the company is forecasting very significant earnings growth from this year: income from ordinary operations for FY 2021 is expected to increase by over 60% compared with the 2020 calendar year, which came in at €27.5m.

These forecasts include the consequences of February’s cyberattack, which will led to a considerable slowdown in production activities over one month.

Image courtesy of Nicolas Claris.

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