The UK’s Fairline Boats has warned that it may have to axe 85 jobs at its Northamptonshire-based sites, despite what it describes as “improved trading performance”.

The news follows 80 job losses in 2011 following Fairline’s acquisition by private equity fund Better Capital.

A Fairline statement reads:

“Following the acquisition by Better Capital last July, Fairline’s trading performance has continued to improve and the business has met its monthly financial targets during this period. Whilst sales are expected to increase significantly in 2012, this improvement falls short of the original forecast.

“Therefore, to protect its profitability and capability to invest in this competitive market, Fairline announces the commencement of a month-long period of consultation which may lead to 85 job losses, of which 65 are direct and 20 indirect. This regrettable action will ensure that the business is sized appropriately to deliver the expected sales volumes into 2013 and beyond.

“Fairline continues apace to increase its model range with the launch of two new boats at the PSP Southampton Boat Show 2012 followed by the launch of a new 45 foot boat early in 2013.

“Please note that no further comment will be made until the completion of the consultation.”