Yacht maker Sunseeker sails into profit after a "defining" year in its turnaround plan

Courtney Goldsmith
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Luxury Yachts At The 2014 London Boat Show
Britain's biggest boat maker has returned to profit (Source: Sunseeker)

Luxury yacht maker Sunseeker sets sail for future growth after swinging back to profit in a "remarkable turnaround".

The figures

Britain's biggest boat builder reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of £6m for the year to the end of December, compared with a loss of £7m the previous year.

Sunseeker said its forward order book increased 41 per cent by volume year-on-year, and revenue increased 25 per cent to £252.4m from £202.6m in 2015.

The group will invest a further £50m across the business to support a bold product plan with many more new introductions over the next few years.

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Why it's interesting

Chief executive Phil Popham, who joined the company in 2015 from Jaguar Land Rover, said new and exciting products are what breed growth in the boating market.

"The response we have had for our latest models has been nothing short of incredible." The iconic group brought out five new models across a size range of 50 to 155 feet long in 2016.

Demand for the company’s larger models has grown year-on-year with more than 100 yachts over 100 feet in length already delivered.

Popham's turnaround programme, which has swung Sunseeker back into profit after years of losses, included a "significant" restructuring and refocusing of the business along with substantial investment across new products.

"It has been a remarkable turnaround in such a short space of time and much of this can be attributed to our strategy to continually invest across the key areas of the business, especially our products," Popham said.

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What Sunseeker said

Popham said:

"2016 has been a defining year for Sunseeker and I’d like to personally thank the whole Sunseeker team for their hard work and dedication and our shareholder Wanda Group for their continued support to help make this possible. The business is on a fresh course, not just to strengthen our position as Britain’s largest boat builder, but as the global leader for luxury performance superyachts. All this, underpinned by a strong forward order book, means we are extremely excited about the future."

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