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World's largest yacht builder skirts downturn by going global

by Investegate/Sail-World Cruising on 2 Feb 2013
Beneteau First 40 cruiser racer strutting its stuff - photo by Damian Devine Damian Devine
Where is the best place to buy a yacht? As the world's leading boat builder, Groupe Beneteau is the group to watch if you want to know future trends in the boat building business. They have just announced, during a financial information meeting, that their international sales are expected to grow by a whopping 65% in the coming year.

Among their observations were the significance of the growth in emerging markets, an upturn on the North American market and less marked downturn for the European market. International sales were expected to grow by more than 65%

During its financial information meeting, the Bénéteau Group presented its objectives for FY 2012-13. More specifically, they reflect the strategy adopted for boats, with the commercial deployment of the Group's brands, while setting up industrial operations in new markets, combined with the extension of its product range.

Visibility coming to global boat market:
The 2013 season is expected to bring a certain visibility back to the global boat market, although to a lesser extent in Europe. After contracting by 25% in 2012, the European market looks set for a more limited downturn in 2013, falling by around 10% to 15%. Hit by the austerity context, the French and German markets are expected to trend down, while growth is forecast for certain markets, including Russia, Scandinavian countries and the UK.

Thanks to its global development policy, particularly in growing regions, the Group expects to generate more than 40% of its sales outside of Europe (compared with 32% in 2012). It is expected to benefit from its rapid penetration of the motorboat market, combined with the promising signs on the American market and the growth seen in markets in the take-up phase, namely Asia and South America. In this way, the Group's sales in its areas for development are expected to represent nearly EUR150 million, climbing 50% for the second year running.

For FY 2012-13, the Group is forecasting EUR618 million in Boat sales, up 1.3%. In this way, the strong growth expected in its developing areas will for the first time balance out the expected downturn on the traditional scope.

Outlook: increasingly global positioning:
In an improving boat market, with potential for growth by 2020, the Group's profile will be increasingly global, with the majority of business to be generated outside of Europe (around 55%). This new profile will be driven by its development on motorboats (60% of the Boat business by 2020, versus 40% in 2012). The 2014 season will follow on from this trend.

The 2011-12 annual report will be available soon on the www.beneteau-group.com site.

About the BENETEAU Group (boating):
As the world's number one yacht builder - both mono and multi-hull - the Beneteau Group has continued to make progress on the motorboat market, and is now one of the world's leading players.

On both sail and motorboats, the BENETEAU, JEANNEAU, LAGOON and PRESTIGE brands are able to offer more than 100 models ranging from 20 to 60 feet. The Group has one of the most prestigious names for the custom construction of luxury yachts: CNB. It is expanding its range in the segment for motorboats over 15 meters with Prestige Yachts and Monte Carlo Yachts.

The Group is also a leading player on the European leisure home market. Yachts currently comprise 41% of their business, housing 27% and motorboats 32%.

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