Financial performance also strengthened

At its annual Boot Düsseldorf press conference, Sunseeker International reported that it strengthened its financial performance in 2019 and that its new-build productivity had improved significantly right across its range.

CEO Andreas Frabetti pointed to the projected EBITDA for Sunseeker in 2019 rising to some €26 million (£23m), an increase of around 10% on 2018. He said that he had just returned from a visit to China to meet Dalian Wanda, Sunseeker’s 95% shareholder, and that “they were very happy with the company’s performance.”

Another key insight into Sunseeker’s improved HR/production performance was provided by Michael Straughan, chief operating officer. He spoke of the company’s manufacturing strategy plan for 2020 and beyond which comprises the following:

  • Optimise manufacturing – a) by working with strategic partners such as ICON Yachts in the Netherlands and Pendennis Shipyard in the UK and b) by being a Centre of Excellence in advanced materials which is in part based at Osprey Quay in Portland, UK
  • Continued investment in skill development which includes the largest intake of graduates and apprentices (some 140)
  • Further improve production efficiency to lower cost through utilisation of appropriate technology

Straughan presented statistics that production efficiency has significantly improved since 2017, with operational production costs showing sizeable falls in terms of average build hours according to different yacht size categories as follows:

  • Small yachts (30ft-59ft) – a fall of 12%
  • Medium yachts (60ft-79ft) – a fall of 19%
  • Large yachts (80ft-90ft) – a fall of 11%
  • Superyachts (over 100ft) – a fall of 19%

These important gains have been achieved, said Sunseeker, by “better labour management and strength management in operations”.

This will all make a major contribution to Sunseeker’s future product development programme, which involves an annual investment of £10m to £15m a year and will include the launch of five new models in 2020 with another six being worked on for 2021. This will see the size of the Sunseeker model range increasing by 2022 from 11 models to 23. These will be in the following categories:

  • Superyacht
  • Yacht
  • Manhattan
  • Sport Yacht
  • Predator
  • Performance

At Boot Düsseldorf, the first of the new 2020 models was launched which was the world premiere of the Manhattan 68. There were also two show premieres – namely, the Hawk 38 and the Predator 60 EVO.

There were five other models on the Sunseeker stand comprising the Manhattan 52, 74 Sport Yacht, 76 Yacht, 86 Yacht and 95 Yacht.