UK Marine Industry Continues Growth

Posted by Eric Haun
Monday, January 11, 2016
File image: UK Flag

UK marine industry grows for fourth consecutive year; new figures released at the London Boat Show 2016

The U.K. leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry continue to grow, according to new statistics published today by British Marine at the London Boat Show 2016.
The statistics, which are released alongside British Marine’s bi-annual Industry Trends survey, show:
  • Industry revenue stands at £2.97 billion for 2014/15, up 1.1 percent from 2013/14
  • The domestic market continues to grow, expanding from 68 percent of total revenue (2013/14) to 70 percent (2014/15)
  • Particularly strong performances in the consumer sector, led by boating tourism, brokerage and insurance and financial services 
  • Revenue and profits continue to rise in the second half of 2015, with marine businesses anticipating further growth over the next six months 
Growth in domestic consumer markets has helped off-set a tricky year for exporters who are still feeling the effects of a sluggish Eurozone and the wider global economic conditions felt by most U.K. business sectors. Inland hire, charter and passenger boat services have performed particularly well, capitalising on the increasing popularity of the U.K. with international visitors and the growth in U.K. consumer confidence, which for the six months from June to November, saw its highest levels of growth since the end of the financial crisis. 
Strong results were also seen in insurance, financial and brokerage services, as both domestic and international customers continue to seek out U.K. expertise, reinforcing the U.K.’s position as a global hub for marine consumer and business services:
  • Brokerage: members have posted very positive results, underlining the resurgence of used boat sales in the U.K. 42 percent of members reported increased revenues and profits, with the greatest growth being seen in international sales. Despite these strong figures, members are undecided about their current market, with only 23 percent confident about the future. 
  • Consumer and B2B services: in the second half of 2015, 47 percent of members reported increased revenues and 51 percent saw profits rise. The strongest performers in this sector came from insurance and financial services, with 82 percent reporting growth in revenue, creating a net balance of +82 percent (+48 percent on H1 2015).
  • Boating tourism: passenger boat companies have had strong last six months. 71 percent reported an increase in turnover, creating a net balance of 63 percent (+38 percent on H1 2015). Profit margins also grew impressively, with 64 percent reporting an increase, creating a net balance of +46 percent (+9 percent on H1 2015). Business confidence for the sector is therefore high.
  • Boat manufacturing: has continued its upward trend, with 50 percent of members reporting increased turnover (+17 percent net balance on the first half of 2015). 
  • Engines and equipment manufacturing: 46 percent of members reported a rise in turnover, with 39 percent reporting a growth in profits (+11 percent on the first six months of 2015). These trends have fed increased market confidence, with 27 percent of members anticipating continued growth over the next six months. 
Commenting on today’s figures, Howard Pridding, Chief Executive of British Marine, said, “We are pleased to report that the U.K. marine industry continues to show growth, yet again demonstrating its value to the U.K. economy. 
“Whilst some in the industry are feeling the effects of difficult trading conditions across the Eurozone and some of the BRIC countries, we are seeing strong demand across the world for U.K. expertise in consumer services, which is testament to the industry’s heritage in these areas. 
“U.K. consumer spending in leisure activities and tourism also continue to rise, buoyed by low inflation and rising wages, and our industry and particularly our members, are seeing the benefits. We look forward to lots of business being done in 2016, beginning at the London Boat Show, and further growth across the industry in the year ahead.”

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