Princess Yachts makes £11m profit

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UK’s luxury boat maker Princess Yachts has sailed back into the list of the UK’s biggest mid-market companies after making an £11million profit.

The Plymouth Stonehouse-headquartered company fell out of the list in 2015 after suffering a slump in sales, but during the past two years it has reversed its fortunes and is steaming ahead again.

The boat-builder has leapfrogged St Austell Brewery, which has four Plymouth pubs and Barbican coffee outlet, which is at number 173, up two places, with profits of £13million and sales of £169million.

But because the list is focused on sales it means Princess Yachts, with £274million in sales in 2017, a jump of 26.6 per cent, is higher in the chart. The company, which now employs close to 3,000 people at sites around Plymouth, now has an order book of £750million.

It is a huge turnaround for the firm which a year earlier had made a £7million loss. After a stellar year the firm is now enjoying its highest sales figures in its 53-year history. It continues a trend of strong year-on-year growth for the L Catterton-owned luxury yacht builder.

Princess’ recent performance at the industry’s biggest global sales events – the Cannes, Fort Lauderdale, Southampton and Düsseldorf boat shows – saw the company power ahead across its entire fleet.

It is now predicting profits could reach £30million for 2018 and it launching even more designs.

A spokesman said: “We have launched seven new yachts already in 2018, and announced three more new yachts that will arrive over the next three months. During 2019 and 2020, we will launch a total of (new design) 15 yachts.”

Tim Lincoln, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, the title sponsor of the league table, said: “Advances in robotics and artificial intelligence, the pervasive challenge of cybercrime, and the uncertain impacts of Brexit are among the significant issues facing Britain today.

“If we are to continue turning innovative ideas into businesses with international scale, we all need to play our part in shaping a vibrant economy that thrives. In this, the role of the mid-market is crucial.

“Resilient despite the headwinds, the Top Track 250 are innovating, winning business and adapting to generate value. There is much to learn from them.”