Boat business beats forecasts to register 9% growth
Groupe Beneteau has closed out FY 2017-18 with performance levels that were higher than its latest forecasts. According to a statement released this afternoon the positive results are linked to the quality of operational execution achieved in the fourth quarter for the Boat and Leisure Homes Divisions, as well as the results of the Transform to Perform plan:
- Boats: business is up +9% at constant exchange rates, the fourth consecutive year of strong growth, supported by a stronger and diversified range, aligned with demand from dynamic segments;
- Housing: business is up +11% for Leisure Homes;
- The increase in the operating margin at constant exchange rates reflects the higher volumes recorded and good operational execution. The ratio of income from ordinary operations adjusted for currency hedging to revenues represents 7%, slightly higher than the previous year (6.9%);
- The product and industrial investment plan is continuing to move forward, combined with external growth, while improving the cash position.
The Boat Division is reporting good performances thanks to the dynamic level of sales for the multihull sailing and outboard / inboard motorboat segments, offsetting the contraction in sales for large motor yachts. The delays with deliveries in the third quarter were effectively caught up in the fourth quarter.
Full-year revenues for the Boat business are up +9.0% year-on-year at constant exchange rates (+6.7% reported data). The Group’s performances in Europe are described as ”excellent” (+12.7% at constant exchange rates), while they show contrasting trends for North America depending on the market segments (+4.4% at constant exchange rates), with very strong progress for small boats and a contraction for large motor yachts. Sales are robust in Asia-Pacific (+27.3% at constant exchange rates) and with charter fleets (+26.8%). The Rest of the World region (-38.7% at constant exchange rates) has been affected by the lower level of sales for large motor yachts.
Market trends from the autumn shows
The Group claims that the atmosphere has been positive at the season’s first shows in Europe and this trend is expected to be confirmed in the US with the upcoming shows. The four models introduced with the acquisition of Seascape have been integrated into Beneteau’s First range. The new catamaran brand Excess was unveiled at the Cannes Yachting Festival. Beneteau says the new production capacity and quicker production speeds are making it possible to respond to market demand, with 32 new models launched during the 2018-19 season.
Outlook - FY 2018-19
The Group is continuing to roll out its investment policy for FY 2018-19, to offer a stronger and innovative product range, aligned with buoyant market segments. Illustrating this, 44% of the product range has been renewed over three years (88 models out of 200).
Alongside this, the range of services is being further strengthened to respond to changing consumption trends, while continuing to develop the various initiatives launched in 2017-18: Beneteau and Jeanneau boat clubs, shared ownership with Sailtime and the Leasyboat all-inclusive financing offer. The Band of Boats platform is ramping up its development through exclusive negotiations with a boating startup.
To continue strengthening its leading positions on the market’s most dynamic segments, the Group is embarking on the latest phase of its industrial transformation plan in France, the US and Poland. It is on track to achieve its target to double multihull production capacity, with 50% already completed at the halfway point (2016-2020). Lastly, the Group is continuing to organize production transfers between euro and dollar regions in order to limit currency effects.