Sunseeker International has reported losses of £41m on revenues of £196m for the year ending December 31, 2014, according to its annual accounts filed at Companies House on Tuesday.
Sunseeker has put the disappointing results down to severe economic headwinds in the market in 2014 which hit revenues and forced the builder to take on unwanted inventory, coupled with one off charges arising in part from restructuring that included cutting 240 jobs in October of that year.
In its previous accounting period (which covered 17 months) the UK builder reported losses of £27.9m after taxes before exceptional items (£12.4m loss after exceptional items), with revenues totalling £343.8m.
For the 12 months ending December 31, 2012, revenues hit £265m.
Talking exclusively to SB‘s sister title IBI yesterday, the company’s new CEO Phil Popham was quick to put the results in context of a Sunseeker that he claims is now seeing rapidly improving fortunes.
Popham joined Sunseeker at the beginning of the year and has since set about instigating a comprehensive overhaul of the business aimed at increasing profitability – particularly on its smaller ranges of boats.
“My job when I came here was to assess the business, to develop a robust long term business plan that would bring the company back into profit,” he told IBI.
That business plan, underwritten by majority shareholder Wanda Group, has involved creating a new executive committee to drive the brand forward as well as searching ways to increase efficiencies both at production and procurement levels. The dealer network is also being bolstered – it has just appointed new dealers in North America and Russia, with more to follow.
HSBC has extended its rolling credit from £30m to £50m allowing the builder to invest further in product and yard development, reflecting, claimed Popham, the bank’s confidence in the Sunseeker brand and product.
Early indicators suggest the plan is already bearing fruit.
In the first eight months of 2015, the builder claims to have sold around half of its 2016 production – that is double the number of units it had sold in the same period last year.
Over £64 million of retail sales has been secured for the new 131 Yacht alone ahead of its launch in January 2016. Several more new models are also set for launch early next year, including the new 116 Yacht and 95 Yacht that Sunseeker claims have already secured over £40 million of forward orders between them. The new Predator 57 is proving to be Sunseeker’s fastest selling boat to date, with over 50 retail orders since its launch at London Boat Show earlier this year. A new generation of the Manhattan range is also currently under development with four new models expected to launch over the next three years, the first of which will be in 2016.
Despite those heavy 2014 losses, Sunseeker has agreed a 2% pay rise for its employees and has taken on 38 apprentices this year, its largest ever intake, indicators claimed Popham, of the boatbuilder’s commitment to a long term, sustainable growth strategy.
Sunseeker said it expected to break even in 2016 and turn a profit the following year, however, given the strength of its 2015 figures, Popham told IBI he was confident it would beat its own forecasts returning to profitability in 2016.