Photography by Princess Yachts
Financial results for the 12 months to 31 December 2018 show record turnover of £340.3m (up £65.9m / 24 percent on 2017) and record operating profit before exceptionals of £29.8m (up £10.9m / 173 percent). EBITDA for 2018 was £32.8m up from £14.9m in 2017.
In 2018 Princess hit a record high for employment of 3,200. Recruitment has taken place across the business from engineering to exterior design, manufacturing to management, making Princess one of the UK’s largest specialist manufacturers.
Princess also increased investment in its successful apprenticeship program with 40 new apprentices brought into the business; apprentices now make up 4 percent of the workforce with a 100 percent retention rate following qualification.
Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman Princess Yachts said “I am really proud of what the Princess team has achieved in 2018. Their focus and dedication enabled Princess to build on the previous two years of solid financial figures and beat 2017’s record results.
“The team launched six stunning new luxury yachts while growing revenues to over one third of a billion pounds. These strong financial figures will enable us to build upon our unique, highly integrated infrastructure in Plymouth and invest even more in advanced technologies, new yachts and quality levels across design and production.
“We continue to forge ahead in our vision to be not just the highest quality, most innovative and successful luxury yacht manufacturer in the world, but also a great British employer.”
Underpinning the strong sales, production and recruitment numbers are orders worth in excess of £700m that stretch through 2020 on classic Princess yachts such as the S78, innovative yachts targeting new segments such as the R35, and the game-changing X95 ‘Superfly’ due to be officially launched at Düsseldorf in January 2020.
As sales, commercial results and recruitment hit new heights, so does investment. Supporting its longer-term plan, Princess continued to invest in a sustainable strategy to ensure that the business continues to drive forward product innovation and its manufacturing capabilities.
As a result, £14.7m (2017: £8.9m) was invested back into product development in 2018. With over 75 percent of each yacht manufactured in Plymouth, Princess continues to invest in its UK sites, adding capital expenditure of £9.0m to the additions in 2017 of £3.7m.
To help drive this plan HSBC UK Bank plc and National Westminster Bank plc are pleased to announce their support for the refinance of Princess Yachts, backed by L Catterton (a partnership between LVMH and Groupe Arnault), as part of the growth of the business, having constructed a multi-year funding facility as of 16 May 2019.
Princess Yachts’ exceptional figures were based on a combination of strong sales at the industry’s three biggest global boat shows – Cannes, Fort Lauderdale and Düsseldorf – and new levels of interest in the brand driven by increased investment in design and technology, progressive new global retail partners, and innovative marketing activity.
2019 began in equally buoyant form with strong orders secured at the 2019 Düsseldorf Boat Show in January, which saw 21 yachts ordered, worth in excess of £60m.
Princess is now into the fourth year of a five-year £100m turnaround plan which saw Executive Chairman Antony Sheriff take the helm in 2016, introducing new processes, technologies and business strategies that combine the best of Princess’s traditional yacht-making skills with best practice honed during 20 years of leadership at international automotive brands.
With customer demand at an all-time high, Princess Yachts’ five boatyards in and around Plymouth are working at maximum capacity and the order books are full throughout 2019 and for much of 2020.