UK Yacht builder Fairline used its Cannes Yachting Festival press conference to present a more stable and positive outlook for the well-known global brand, especially after its various different owners in recent years.
Paul Grys, CEO, reported that the company has a strong forward order book valued at £125m. Fairline is on schedule to deliver 60% more boats than was produced last year. In the year to date, Fairline has produced the same quantity of boats than it did in 2021.
Fairline has also consolidated its previous three build sites into one, with two of them being sold off. In a significant move, Grys explained to IBI that the company has acquired a new site in Corby, fairly close to the shipyard, which the Fairline design team has moved to. This has opened up space at the shipyard so that a new build line can be added.
The total investment around these actions is some £10m through 2022-23, and the company is “looking at future options,” Grys added. Fairline’s private equity owner, Hanover, is investing £6m through 2022-23 as part of Phase 1 of the company’s production plan, which will see an expansion of its manufacturing footprint and key facilities.
Phase 1 of the production plan runs through to 2024 with Phase 2 will cover the period up to 2027. Grys remarked that Phase 2 is currently being finalised and that there may be some overlap with Phase 1.
Fairline held the world premieres of the Phantom 65 and the Squadron 68 at Cannes. They were exhibited alongside the F//Line 33, Targa 45 Open and Targa 50 GT.
New products planned under Phase 1 of the production plan include the Targa 40 and Squadron 58.
The workforce at Fairline now numbers some 400 and Grys made specific mention of 15 new apprentices starting work at the yard recently. This is a new programme, although the company has had apprentices in the past. Also, to take account of high inflation levels in the UK, he made it known that two wage increases have been made over the past 12 months.
With the growth of sales and a larger forward order book, Fairline has made a number of changes to its global dealer network with new appointments made over the last 12 months in Florida, New York, Quebec, Queensland, Mallorca and Denmark.
In terms of sales, Fairline sold 60% of its output to the UK and Europe over the past 12 months, 20% to North America and 20% to Asia Pacific.
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Story first published by IBI
30th March 2023
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