Growth in all areas is the group’s future objective

One of Europe’s largest boat sales networks, operated by Ancasta International Boat Sales Ltd, achieved a 2.7% increase in turnover to £27.5m for the year ended August 31, 2018, based on growth in both new-boat and brokerage sales. Turnover in 2016-17 was £26.8m. The group’s profit fell back because of increased distribution costs and administration expenses, and a higher tax payment. 

According to information filed with Companies House, the UK business register, operating costs in 2017-18 rose 3% to £3.6m but the gross margin remained stable at 15%. This resulted in a gross profit equating to 15% of turnover, which was the same as the 2016-17 and 2015-16 fiscal years. The operating profit, however, fell to 1.6% of turnover in 2017-18 compared with 1.9% in 2016-17.

In the Ancasta strategic report filed with Companies House, the board said they were pleased with the pre-tax profit of £451,773, which was 14% below the equivalent sum of 2016-17 at £526,392. After tax, the profit for 2017-18 was £359,289 as against £472,530 in the previous year, representing a fall of 24%.

The directors said: “2017-18 saw the company focus on its core business of marketing new and used boat sales as well as particular focus being placed on customer care and aftersales. Markets were reasonably buoyant with turnover increasing in all areas. However, new boat margins were squeezed due to uncertainty around Brexit and changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Staffing levels were increased while other operating cost increases were consistent with inflation.”

Ancasta reported that two new franchise offices opened in Spain during the period. “No real returns were seen during the period under review, but they are expected to make positive contributions in the coming year,” the report stated.

As to the company’s subsidiary, Ancasta Yacht Services SL, it was reported that the group’s presence in Spain was strengthened, which enables the company to manage and run a recently acquired dealership territory in Spain along with the three franchise offices that operate there.

As to the future, the report stated: “The company’s model of providing boat sales, both new and used, through a multi-office network supported by a very strong online presence is now well-proven. Growth in all areas is the objective for the future. Growth relies on a number of criteria, those being a better and more effective online presence, improved new boat product, better trained and incentivised staff and an increase in outlets and sales territories. All these areas have received increased investment in the previous 12 months.

“The new-boat offering continues to develop with the company entering the alternative and fractional ownership market. The company intends to continue to invest in its people and systems to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the industry through an unrivalled range of products and professional levels of service.”

Ancasta markets the Beneteau Power and Sail brands; Prestige, Lagoon and CNB under the Groupe Beneteau banner; plus McConaghy and Melges yachts.

Staff numbers, which rose by two in 2018 to a total of 48, were made up of 28 sales and marketing and 20 aftersales and administration roles. These had a total cost in 2017-18 of £2,456,420 compared with £2,158,435 in 2016-17. Remuneration of directors increased to £489,566 in 2017-18 as against £318,614 in 2016-17.