Princess Yachts, which just two years ago announced it may lay off over 300 people, has had a complete turnaround and has been heavily recruiting through 2017. For some models, it is now looking at delivery slots in 2020 and 2021.
“We recruited 450 people last year and our workforce now stands at 2,600,” says Kiran Haslam, Princess’s marketing director. “We are still recruiting but the ideal employee number for the current size of order book would be 2,600 to 2,700.”
At the Cannes Yachting Festival, Princess stated that the retail value of their order book was around £750m and this has continued to grow. Haslam comments: “We have continued to receive orders and we even took a few in between Christmas and the New year holiday. For some models – the Princess 85 and ‘M’ class 35m (115ft) and 40m (131ft) models – the orders now stretch into 2020 and 2021.
“Brexit and the value of sterling has helped bring in some orders, but it is not seen as a particular generator of them,” Haslam adds. “We are still receiving about 50% of our sales from Europe and the UK, 25%-30% from the Americas and the rest from the Middle East and South East Asia. We anticipated about 10% of sales from Asia but this has moved up to 13% and may reach 15%.”
With the growth in orders, Princess is having to take steps to optimise its production capacity within its existing facilities. The company is also working through a £100m investment programme with the resources coming from its owners. This programme started last year and began with £55m but was increased to £100m.
In 2018 Princess will be launching six new models, including the new V65, at Düsseldorf.