Executive chairman Antony Sheriff provides insight into UK builder’s latest financials in Singapore

The Princess Y85 made its Asian debut at the Singapore Yacht Show

The Princess Y85 made its Asian debut at the Singapore Yacht Show

The UK’s Princess Yachts highlighted the importance of the Asia-Pacific market last week when three of its models – the Princess Y85, F45 and R35 – made their Asian premiere at the 2019 Singapore Yacht Show (SYS).

The company also took the opportunity to emphasize the continuing strong performance of the brand with an outline of its latest financial results, which will be released shortly.

“Asia-Pacific is a key strategic market and, with this being a major show in the region, it is important that we are here,” executive chairman Antony Sheriff commented. “We enjoy a strong customer base and our new types of boats are meeting their demands.”

To enhance this, a number of new dealers have been appointed in the region such as China and Vietnam.

Turning his attention to the company’s financial performance, Sheriff reported that 2018 would be a record year. “The latest financial figures are being finalised,” he told a press briefing at SYS 2019. Sheriff presented a performance outline which showed that the number of boats delivered increased 17%, annual revenues rose between 30% and 40%, the margin was up 40% to 50% and EBITDA was 100% up.

Sheriff told IBI: “The profit will be about three times what we did in 2017, on which the recent Sunday Times Profit Tracker 100 was based. Robust profitability supports continued investment in the business. With the increase in revenues this will see the total figure being well over £300m compared to the £270m in 2017.”

Princess indicated that that the retail value of the order book remains strong; its retail value has only dropped to around £700m as against £750m.

Speaking about the models making their debut at SYS 2019, Sheriff said the Y85 and F45 are how future yachts in these ranges will look. “We are focusing strongly on attention to detail and the same level of high-quality finish right across the range, so the F45 is the same as the Y85.”

The F45 is the entry-level model in Princess’s Flybridge range. “It is not cheaper, just smaller than the larger models,” Sheriff commented. The R35 is the group’s new smaller model, and is almost entirely made of carbon fibre, including the two aft end wings which rise to reduce drag and give 30% better fuel consumption.

Sheriff spoke of the investment being made in product development, including the new V55, F50 and F55 being developed. He also focused on the new X95 high-volume superyacht with large flybridge that offers very flexible space. “We have taken five orders for this model already,” he said, “and the first will be shown at Düsseldorf in 2020.”

As for the Y85, in a two-week period that included the Palm Beach show, the company has built 10 out of 17 models on order so far. The R35 orders are now up to 25. Orders for the F45 are anticipated to reach between 30 and 45. With all these new models, there are customers in Asia.

Sheriff told IBI: “Overall the order book extends into the second half of 2020 but with some models they are edging on 2021.” He pointed out that due to customer loyalty it means that the level of repeat offers is in the 70% to 80% range with 90% of repeat customers upsizing.