Record-breaking year for Princess Yachts

Britain’s biggest luxury yacht maker has steamed ahead over the last year, enjoying record turnover and profit.

Princess Yachts enjoyed a 24 per cent rise in turnover to £340m and a 178 per cent rise in operating profit to £30m for the year ending 31 December.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for 2018 were £32.8m, up from £14.9m in 2017.

The figures were buoyed by strong sales at the industry’s three biggest global boat shows – Cannes, Fort Lauderdale and Düsseldorf – as well as what it called growing interest in the firm after it poured funding into design, technology and marketing campaigns.

This year began in much the same way, with 21 yachts totalling more than £60m ordered at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in January, it said.

Princess put £14.7m into product development last year, up on £8.9m in 2017. More than 75 per cent of each yacht it made was manufactured in its native Plymouth, and the firm said it intends to keep investing in its UK sites.

The firm is into the fourth year of a five-year turnaround plan which has cost £100m.

It said customer demand is at an “all-time high” and that its five boatyards in and around Plymouth are working at maximum capacity. Order books are full throughout 2019 and much of next year, it added, with £700m-worth of forward orders already.

Chairman Antony Sheriff says: “I am really proud of what the Princess team has achieved in 2018. Their focus and dedication enabled Princess to build on the previous two years of solid financial figures and beat 2017’s record results.

“These strong financial figures will enable us to build upon our unique, highly integrated infrastructure in Plymouth and invest even more in advanced technologies, new yachts and quality levels across design and production.”

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