One of the best-known brands in luxury boat-building has reported record annual revenue for 2017, bolstered by the booming global economy and foreign buyers attracted by the fall in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote.
Princess Yachts has taken on 500 workers at its Plymouth shipyard, taking the total workforce to 2,700, to respond to what it calls “exploding demand” from global customers.
The company’s revenue for 2017 jumped 27 percent to a record €314.86 million (£274.4 million) and the company swung to an operating profit before exceptional costs of €9.6 million (£7.9 million) from a loss of €8.03 million (£7 million) in the previous 12 months.
Princess, which is majority French-owned, was able to deliver 230 vessels in 2017, although it has been selling them at a rate of about 300 a year, resulting in a backlog.
Antony Sheriff, its executive chairman, said: “The macroeconomic situation, other than recent rumblings of trade wars, is one where the market continues to grow and people are feeling very optimistic. We are going to increase production by about 25 percent.”
Orders have been particularly strong in Europe, Hong Kong, the Middle East and South East Asia, with interest picking up in mainland China, he said.