SUNSEEKER INTERNATIONAL has been in a celebratory mood of late as the British yard confirmed a return to profitability and announced the Manhattan 52 as its fastest-selling model.
The Poole-based yard posted a profit of £6 million (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the year ending December 2016 – a £36m (EBITDA) improvement since 2014. Revenue for the year rose by 25 per cent to £252m, while the forward order book increased by 41 per cent by volume.
Sunseeker launched a record five new models in 2016, from the Manhattan 52 and Predator 68 to the larger 95, 116 and 131 Yachts, collectively securing over £220m of orders at retail value to-date. At the London Boat Show in January, Sunseeker launched the Manhattan 66 and 68 Sport Yacht, two of four new models planned for 2017.
It marks a remarkable change of fortunes after years of losses for the company, which was bought by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group in 2013.
Phil Popham, who had spent 25 years with car maker Jaguar Land Rover, was appointed CEO in late 2014 and soon instituted a ‘turnaround programme’ that included streamlined production methods and a revamp of the yard’s range.
In 2015, Sunseeker made financial progress, reducing losses by 67 per cent to £13.6 million and paving the way for the company to return to profit last year. Last September, the company announced it would invest £50m over five years on new products, improving shipyard facilities and recruitment. Over 400 jobs have been created since 2014 and 170 more are to be created this year.
Popham said: “It has been a remarkable turnaround in such a short space of time and much of this can be attributed to our strategy to continually invest across the key areas of the business, especially our products. New and exciting products breed growth in this market and the response we have had for our latest models has been nothing short of incredible.
“We are confident this is going to continue as we will be investing a further £50 million across the business to support a bold product plan that will see many more new introductions over the next few years.”
Sunseeker also announced that the Manhattan 52 is now the brand’s fastest-selling model to-date with over 80 retail orders in its first five months. The innovative 52-footer was named Best Flybridge under 55ft at the 2017 Motor Boat Awards.
“The Manhattan 52 is our fastest selling model to date, with over 80 orders taken for 2017 and 2018,” Popham said. “The Manhattan 52 sets a new industry benchmark for the smaller flybridge format and makes an important statement about Sunseeker’s continued focus on new product development and innovation.”