Princess Yachts Ltd announced record financial results, plus new records for yacht sales and employment at its Plymouth headquarters. The results make 2018 the British manufacturer’s most successful year in its 54 year history.
Financial results for the 12 months to 31st December 2018 show record turnover of £340.3m (up £65.9m / 24% on 2017) and record operating profit before exceptionals of £29.8m (up £10.9m / 173%). EBITDA for 2018 was £32.8m up from £14.9m in 2017.
In 2018 Princess hit a record high for employment of 3,200. Recruitment has taken place across the business from engineering to exterior design, manufacturing to management, making Princess one of the UK’s largest specialist manufacturers. Princess also increased investment in its successful apprenticeship programme with 40 new apprentices brought into the business; apprentices now make up 4% of the workforce with a 100% retention rate following qualification.
A strong financial figures
Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman, Princess Yachts, said: “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. The team launched six stunning new luxury yachts while growing revenues to over one third of a billion pounds.
“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. We continue to forge ahead in our vision to be not just the highest quality, most innovative and successful luxury yacht manufacturer in the world, but also a great British employer.”
Underpinning the strong sales, production and recruitment numbers are orders worth in excess of £700m that stretch through 2020 on classic Princess yachts such as the S78, innovative yachts targeting new segments such as the R35, and the game-changing X95 ‘Superfly’ due to be officially launched at Düsseldorf in January 2020.
As sales, commercial results and recruitment hit new heights, so does investment. Supporting its longer-term plan, Princess continued to invest in a sustainable strategy to ensure that the business continues to drive forward product innovation and its manufacturing capabilities. As a result £14.7m (2017: £8.9m) was invested back into product development in 2018. With over 75% of each yacht manufactured in Plymouth, Princess continues to invest in its UK sites, adding capital expenditure of £9.0m to the additions in 2017 of £3.7m.
Investment in design and technology, global retail partners, and marketing activity
To help drive this plan HSBC UK Bank plc and National Westminster Bank plc are pleased to announce their support for the refinance of Princess Yachts, backed by L Catterton (a partnership between LVMH and Groupe Arnault), as part of the growth of the business, having constructed a multi-year funding facility as of the 16th of May, this year.
Princess Yachts’ exceptional figures were based on a combination of strong sales at the industry’s three biggest global boat shows – Cannes, Fort Lauderdale and Düsseldorf – and new levels of interest in the brand driven by increased investment in design and technology, progressive new global retail partners, and innovative marketing activity. 2019 began in equally buoyant form with strong orders secured at the 2019 Düsseldorf Boat Show in January, which saw 21 yachts ordered, worth in excess of £60m.
Princess is now into the fourth year of a five-year £100m turnaround plan which saw Executive Chairman Antony Sheriff take the helm in 2016, introducing new processes, technologies and business strategies that combine the best of Princess’s traditional yacht-making skills with best practice honed during 20 years of leadership at international automotive brands.
With customer demand at an all-time high, Princess Yachts’ five boatyards in and around Plymouth are working at maximum capacity and the order books are full throughout 2019 and for much of 2020.
A truly international brand.
Plymouth-based Princess Yachts epitomises the best of British manufacturing, from its quality craftsmanship, design and engineering pedigree, to the refined elegant and luxury interior styling of its craft. The result blends cutting-edge technology with traditional craftsmanship to set new standards in performance, evident across the Princess range of sophisticated flybridge motor yachts, dynamic V Class sports yachts, ground-breaking S Class sportbridge yachts, flagship M Class superyachts and revolutionary R Class performance sports yachts.
Princess Yachts was acquired in 2008 by L Capital 2 FCPR, an investment group co-sponsored by LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and Groupe Arnault. In January 2016, L Capital merged with Catterton to become L Catterton, now recognised as the largest global consumer-focused investment firm.