According to British Marine, the marine sector’s export growth has outpaced the national average * (3.5% according to the Office for National Statistics), hitting the £1.5bn mark in 2018/19.
The Key Performance Indicators for the Leisure, Superyacht & Small Commercial Marine Industry Report shows that new and used boat sales now account for 78% of the industry’s exports, while exports to Europe account for 74% of the total and now stand at a value of more than £1bn.
The new data also reveals an optimistic industry outlook across the sector as a whole.
In the previous year:
- The UK’s 5,800 marine businesses directly contributed £1.4bn gross value added (GVA) to the country’s economy, an increase of 17% from 2017/18.
- Total revenue climbed to nearly £4bn, an increase of 10%.
- Boat and equipment manufacturing experienced the highest levels of growth at 15%.
“We are delighted to see the marine industry continuing to prosper – providing a significant number of jobs to the UK economy,” says Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine. “In particular, it is encouraging to see the growth of the boat manufacturing sector, which now accounts for one in four jobs in the entire sector.”
While the overall outlook is positive, the new data also highlights the difficult environment that some parts of the sector face. The boating tourism sector in particular has experienced challenging conditions due to a dip in domestic consumer confidence caused by greater political uncertainty, specifically Brexit.
Despite these conditions, the new figures show the sector enjoyed employment growth of 7% and now supports 38,700 jobs, almost seven times the national average employment growth in the same period. However, concerns around staffing and a skills shortage persist.
(* Growth figures are calculated based on “like-for-like” comparisons of British Marine member companies’ accounts for previous years.)