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FLIBS 2016: Sunseeker International reports sales growth

FORT LAUDERDALE — Sunseeker International, the UK’s largest boatbuilder, has turned the corner and is showing a 44 percent increase in orders.
 Sunseeker CEO Phil Popham

Sunseeker CEO Phil Popham

FORT LAUDERDALE — Sunseeker International, the UK’s largest boatbuilder, has turned the corner and is showing a 44 percent increase in orders for its yachts this year and saw sales double in the United States last year, CEO Phil Popham says.

Popham, who took charge at Sunseeker two years ago after 25 years in management at Land Rover/Jaguar, said he was hired to turn the company around after some post-2008 recession reversals and is making headway.

“We reduced losses 70 percent the last two quarters and have shown a 20 percent growth in revenues this year,” he said in an interview at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Purchased by the Dalian WandaGroup, a Chinese conglomerate, in 2013, Sunseeker has 50 million pounds ($62.5 million) to fund a five-year growth plan that will include new product development, Popham said.

Sunseeker is trying to expand its U.S. sales through a new network of dealers — Strong’s Marine and Tri-State Marine on Long Island, New York, and Rick Obey & Associates in Dania Beach, Fla. — that will represent its brand.

Sunseeker builds boats from 48 to 155 feet in Poole, England. It has a 116 Yacht, 95 Yacht, a Manhattan 52 and Predator 68 MkII.

The Manhattan 52 and Predator 68 MkII are making their U.S. debuts at the Fort Lauderdale show.

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