Rocky ride for yachting industry

Yachting professionals gathered in January at Monaco Yacht Club to review the state of the industry.

According to David Legrand of Fraser Yachts, 2010 was a good year for the yachting industry, which saw a recovery in sales. Transactions reached 2,575,866,000 euros, 30% up on the previous year, with an average unit value of 13 million euros. However the industry did not escape the economic crisis, with a collapse of the Russian market on the Cote d'Azur between the end of 2009 and mid-2010.

Poor sales at the end of 2009 also impacted workers, with salaries dropping by around 30%, and some staff made redundant. With 1200 companies and 3600 employees operating between Cannes and Nice, the industry ranks 4th in terms of employment in the Alpes Maritimes.

Yacht builders and suppliers rode out the crisis, with contracts signed in 2007-8 about to be delivered.

The industry is now undergoing restructuring, with insiders looking to South America for future sales. Professionals estimate there are around 100,000 people likely to buy a yacht of over 30 m, but in order to assure a successful 2011, the industry must consider its environmental impact, provide better price transparency and ensure continuous improvements to quality.

Yachting: a growth industry