UK marine industry grows for fourth consecutive year

British Marine statistics reveal the UK marine industry has grown for the fourth consecutive year
British Marine statistics reveal the UK marine industry has grown for the fourth consecutive year

The UK marine industry, including leisure, superyacht and small commercial sector continues to grow, according to new statistics published by British Marine at the London Boat Show 2016.

The statistics, which are released alongside British Marine’s bi-annual Industry Trends survey, show:

Industry revenue stands at £2.97bn for 2014/15, up 1.1% from 2013/14.

The domestic market continues to grow, expanding from 68% of total revenue (2013/14) to 70% (2014/15).

Particularly strong performances in the consumer sector, led by boating tourism, brokerage and insurance and financial services.

Revenue and profits continue to rise in the second half of 2015, with marine businesses anticipating further growth over the next 6 months.

Impressive growth in domestic consumer markets has helped off-set a tricky year for exporters who are still feeling the effects of a sluggish Eurozone and the wider global economic conditions felt by most UK business sectors. Inland hire, charter and passenger boat services have performed particularly well, capitalising on the increasing popularity of the UK with international visitors and the growth in UK consumer confidence, which for the 6 months from June to November, saw its highest levels of growth since the end of the financial crisis.

Strong results were also seen in insurance, financial and brokerage services, as both domestic and international customers continue to seek out UK expertise, reinforcing the UK’s position as a global hub for marine consumer and business services.

Brokerage: members have posted very positive results, underlining the resurgence of used boat sales in the UK. 42% of members reported increased revenues and profits, with the greatest growth being seen in international sales. Despite these strong figures, members are undecided about their current market, with only 23% confident about the future.

Consumer and B2B services: in the second half of 2015, 47% of members reported increased revenues and 51% saw profits rise. The strongest performers in this sector came from insurance and financial services, with 82%reporting growth in revenue, creating a net balance of +82%(+48%on H1 2015).

Boating tourism: passenger boat companies have had strong last 6 months. 71% reported an increase in turnover, creating a net balance of 63% (+38% on H1 2015). Profit margins also grew impressively, with 64% reporting an increase, creating a net balance of +46% (+9% on H1 2015). Business confidence for the sector is therefore high.

Boat manufacturing: has continued its upward trend, with 50% of members reporting increased turnover (+17% net balance on the first half of 2015).

Engines and equipment manufacturing: 46% of members reported a rise in turnover, with 39% reporting a growth in profits (+11% on the first six months of 2015). These trends have fed increased market confidence, with 27% of members anticipating continued growth over the next 6 months.

Commenting on today’s figures, Howard Pridding, Chief Executive of British Marine, said: “We are pleased to report that the UK marine industry continues to show growth, yet again demonstrating its value to the UK economy.

“Whilst some in the industry are feeling the effects of difficult trading conditions across the Eurozone and some of the BRIC countries, we are seeing strong demand across the world for UK expertise in consumer services, which is testament to the industry’s heritage in these areas.

“UK consumer spending in leisure activities and tourism also continue to rise, buoyed by low inflation and rising wages, and our industry and particularly our members, are seeing the benefits. We look forward to lots of business being done in 2016, beginning at the London Boat Show, and further growth across the industry in the year ahead.”

This survey is conducted in June and November each year. This survey was completed by 261 British Marine members (25% response rate of those receiving the survey) and is published as an aid to the industry in forecasting and business planning.

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