Shipping company to the marine industry Peters & May has signed an exclusive agreement with partners in Southeast Asia and expects to expand into Northeast Asia by the end of 2009 with new partnerships.

The announcement came at a briefing at the ongoing Southampton International Boat Show on England’s south coast, where Peters & May director Gerald Price addressed the press and offered an overview of business in 2009.

Peters & May’s European volumes have remained ‘exceptionally good’ compared to US markets where the company has seen a ‘big collapse’ in production capacity in 2009.

Meanwhile, exports to the Far East have grown over 50 per cent, particularly to Hong Kong and Singapore. There have also been signs of South America picking up, with Peters & May beginning shipments to both Brazil and Argentina.

The Middle East defied expectations of growth and in 2009 has remained flat for Peters & May against 2008 movements.

The transporter says that the four major boatbuilders it serves in the UK have full order books with Peters & May. Price also said that Sunseeker’s and Princess’s expansion into the superyacht market has left the yards ‘slightly less affected’ than the under 18m (60ft) market.

In addition to the”>acquisition of competitor Complete Freight in May this year and having completed the rebranding of 2007 acquisition Air and Ocean Shipping to P M USA, Peters & May has opened an office in Nice on France’s south coast.

“While the market is more depressed for French manufacturers than we are seeing in the UK, we are making inroads and increasing our market share and will be well placed for the future,” said Price at the briefing.

“Looking forward we all know that 2010 will again be a tough time, but we remain optimistic that we will see a return of some markets such as the US and we are definitely continuing our company development,” he continued.

Peters & May is headquartered in Eastleigh, UK and has bases in 11 other areas of the world via Peters & May offices and exclusive agents. In 2007 the company moved over 8,000 boats.