Luxury boat builder Princess Yachts is one of the UK’s most profitable companies

by | Apr 24, 2019

Luxury boat builder Princess Yachts has seen its profits soar recently, meaning the company has become one of the UK’s most profitable businesses.

With a rise in earnings by a staggering 114% in three years, Princess has been revealed as the UK’s eighth highest company for profit growth in the 2019 Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table.

This table collates a list of Britain’s private sector companies with the fastest growing profits.

It would have to be something extreme for us to want to pull out of Plymouth. On the assumption we are not going to be tariffed or taxed out of business we will stay here. 

Antony Sheriff, executive chairman of Princess Yachts

Princess Yachts has benefited from the drop in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote in 2016. The company entered into the top 10 for the first time after making a £10.9 million surplus.

The luxury boat builder launched six new models in 2018, and increased its staff levels at the headquarters in Plymouth to 3,000.

In 2018 the company sold 24 vessels at the world’s largest boat show – Boot Dusseldorf, making £30 million. However in January 2019, it topped the previous year’s earnings selling £38 million worth of boats in a week.

2017 saw the company’s turnover rise by 26.6% to £274.4 million – its highest sales figure in its 53 year history.

These recent huge figures are even more impressive when you take into account the fact that as recently as 2016, Princess Yachts had announced a £7 million loss.

One of the contributing factors to the company’s success has been the weakened pound following the EU referendum. This is down to the fact that 90% of Princess Yachts’ boats are exported.

In spite of this, the company has insisted that this is not the sole reason for its increased profits. It has stated that a lot of the recent success has come from investment into innovation, training and equipment.

The company has also worked to improve the quality of its yachts, meaning it was able to increase its prices. It was therefore able to target a new generation of young and wealthy customers.

In spite of the fact that Princess Yachts has benefited from the weakened pound, Brexit has the potential to harm the company.

Speaking to Plymouth Live, Antony Sheriff, executive chairman of Princess Yachts, said that he wanted the company to remain in Plymouth, but did warn that there may be a scenario where they would be stung by taxes and tariffs.

He told the website: “It would have to be something extreme for us to want to pull out of Plymouth. On the assumption we are not going to be tariffed or taxed out of business we will stay here.”

He went on to say that Brexit has the potential to dramatically harm the economy, unless a good deal can be struck. He continued: “The unpredictability and uncertainty will weaken our position with the EU and make it impossible for any company to put plans in place. We will be isolated as a country if we don’t sort this quickly.”

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