Ninety staff could lose their jobs at Princess Yachts

A Princess Yacht in the water

Princess Yachts is due to start consulting with its workforce and representatives shortly about redundancies, with up to 90 employees at risk of losing their jobs. The company is said to be looking to create a ‘leaner and more agile organisation’ with the employees affected all being office-based support or management. This comes as, like many, Princess was hit with supply issues.

The company made national news in 2016, when it announced it was cutting 172 jobs. Then it had a staff of around 2,000. The Plymouth Herald currently estimates Princess Yachts’ workforce at 3,000, and says fewer than three per cent of the total workforce is affected. No shop floor manufacturing workers are included.

When the company was bought by KPS (US investor) in Feb 2023, Ryan Harrison, a partner said significant investments would be made to “accelerate Princess’ growth trajectory and fund numerous investments for its future.”

Will Green, the company’s new chief executive officer, took up his role in August last year. He’s been with the company for 20 years, and was cited as being instrumental in driving the sustained period of commercial success. At the time he told MIN he wanted to focus on “what we do best – building exceptional yachts for our customers.”

Order book strong amid redundancy worries

In 2023, Princess Yachts had orders to manufacture more than £750m of vessels, with the work expected to stretch into 2026. However, that success of driving demand has come at a cost, with the company’s ability to meet demand suffering significantly due to supply issues.

“This restructure comes after an extensive business review as we look to improve efficiencies and strengthen our business operations,” a spokesperson told media. “While we remain commercially strong with a healthy order book, we have not been immune to the industry-wide supply issues, and our ability to meet demand has suffered significantly as a result.

“Making any changes that directly affect people’s roles is always difficult and we have worked hard to ensure this disruption is kept to a minimum. But we have a responsibility to all our staff to ensure we have a profitable and sustainable business that is able to withstand any future headwinds. I am confident that with the plans we now have in place, together with what remains to be one of the strongest product offerings in the industry, we will have that resilience for the long-term future of the business.

“From a sales point of view we are among the strongest, if not the strongest, in the industry.”

Last year, Princess Yachts (based in Plymouth since 1965) posted a £69m pre-tax loss, which it said was due to inflation and supply chain issues.

New model for Princess Yachts, and bridge disaster

The yacht manufacturer revealed details of its new Princess F58 at the Palm Beach International Boat Show earlier this year. The first F58 will go into production later in 2024 and make its global debut in early 2025. The 18.2-metre Princess F58 is the latest addition to the yard’s F-Class flybridge series, sitting between the F55 and the series flagship, the F65.

More recently, people were left surprised after a large yacht — understood to be a 15-metre Princess F50 — caused a traffic jam when it became stuck underneath a railway bridge.

Marine Industry News has contacted Princess Yachts for further comments.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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