«Significant improvement» in UK leisure marine industry (7 January 2014)

New figures from the British Marine Federation point to a thriving export market and a surge in domestic business
As the 2014 London Boat Show enters its third day, the British Marine Federation (BMF) today released new figures that show a significant improvement in the UK leisure marine industry. Strong results in 2012/13 are attributed to a thriving export market and a return to pre-recession trends on the home market.
According to BMF statistics, overseas trade increased 7.7 per cent in revenue for 2012/13, helping drive up revenue for the entire industry by 1.7 per cent to £2.905bn. Europe and North America were the most common destinations for UK goods and services, with trade to both regions growing by 9.6 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively.
Strong demand for boats manufactured in the UK led the export recovery, says the BMF, with sales to overseas clients growing 7.9 per cent compared to -8.3 per cent in the previous year.
As for 2014, international business is expected to continue growing. Around 42 per cent of BMF member companies are already reporting a higher workload for exports, while 38 per cent have healthier order books for overseas clients compared to a year ago.
Domestic business has also started to surge in the last six months, compared to the previous year. Although slower to pick up from the recession than the international market, trends for the ‘home workload’ and ‘home order value’ are now the most positive since 2007.
“The leisure marine industry is in good shape going into 2014,” says Howard Pridding, chief executive of the BMF. “Having exported its way back to growth and increased the delivery of goods and services to international markets to over £1 billion last year, the sector is now poised to capitalise on the improving domestic economy.”
Some 43 per cent of BMF member companies report a higher workload for UK clients over the last six months than one year ago (up from 32 per cent in November 2012) while 38 per cent have a higher value of the domestic order book (up from 31 per cent last year).
BMF statistics show that 48 per cent of UK leisure marine businesses increased turnover in May-November from last year, and expectations are even stronger for 2014. Around 88 per cent predict more positive growth for the next six months and 34 per cent have increased investment from last year.
“Some of the latest performance indicators have exceeded all our expectations and we are confident that 2014 will welcome a new period of sustained growth for the sector,” says Pridding. “UK boatbuilding is a manufacturing success story with a worldwide reputation, and the London Boat Show this week is a great way to showcase this expertise whilst also marking the start of a new chapter for the industry.”
The 2014 London Boat Show opened at London’s ExCel Centre on Saturday and runs until Sunday, January 12. (https://plus.ibinews.com, 6 January 2014)

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