Beneteau, that iconic brand when it comes to sailing boats, is probably glad it has a housing division right now. While, as usual, outperforming the market, Beneteau has just reported that its sales of boats for the first quarter of 2011/2 is down by a whopping 12.8%.
With the international boat market in disarray, Beneteau still confirmed its positive outlook for the full 2011/12 year.
For the Boat business, Beneteau said it has not been possible to make up for the wait-and-see attitude seen during autumn as a result of the continued unrest on the financial markets. The industry has maintained a strong rate of commercial development, although undermined by the macroeconomic upheavals recorded during a peak period
for taking orders. In view of this environment, the boat market looks set for a significant contraction in certain regions over the 2011-12 season.
They also affirmed in the statement that the boat shows have confirmed the positive response for the Group's collections, particularly outstanding for the Prestige, Monte Carlo Yachts and Bénéteau brands, with the latest model from the Sense range leading the way. The sustained level of commercial activity and these strong expressions of interest across all the Group's ranges highlight its ability to once again continue developing more quickly than the market this year.
Arguably the leading boat manufacturer in the world, Beneteau offers more than 100 sail and powerboat models from 6m-18m (20ft-60ft) under the Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon and Prestige brands. The company also builds custom luxury yachts under the CNB marque and is expanding its range of powerboats over 15m with Prestige Yachts and Monte Carlo Yachts.
In the 2010/11 financial year, also a very difficult year for the marine industry, Beneteau reported an 18.3 per cent rise in sales to €921.8m.
2011-12 first-quarter business: