MIAMI 2017: Sunseeker discusses five-year growth plans

Sunseeker has increased its overall business in Europe, as well as in North America.
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Sunseeker, which held a VIP event for clients on Friday at Yachts Miami Beach, said North America has been a critical market for sales.

Sunseeker, which held a VIP event for clients on Friday at Yachts Miami Beach, said North America has been a critical market for sales.

MIAMI BEACH — Sunseeker International, the United Kingdom’s oldest boatbuilder, held a dinner for the media after Yachts Miami Beach on Friday night at STK South Beach to discuss growth and to convey that the company is poised to achieve its five-year growth plans ahead of target.

Sunseeker has increased its overall business in Europe, as well as in North America, said Sean Robertson, the company’s sales and marketing director.

“Europe is OK, obviously pending Brexit,” Robertson told Trade Only Today. “To be honest, the pound has weakened [since the vote], and that has increased business. It dropped 20 percent and has evened out now.”

The Dalian Wanda Group Corp. Ltd. acquired a majority stake in the yacht builder in 2013, and the company has beaten its initial projections.

The idea was to focus on new product, and the mission has “been working fantastically,” Robertson said.

“Last year we launched five new boats; this year we’ve launched four, and there will be four more for 2017 [model year 2018],” he said. “We launched the [Manhattan] 52 in September of last year, and we’ve sold 82 boats. Before its launch we had sold over 40. We launched the 131s at Fort Lauderdale — a $20 million unit — and we’re doing five a year. So it’s working at both ends of the scale.”

The company expects to invest 50 million pounds (over $62 million at Sunday’s exchange rate) during the next three years, Sunseeker CEO Phil Popham told the group.

It also plans to hire 100 to 150 people in the coming year. Sunseeker recruited 225 workers during the past year, said Sunseeker marketing manager Bryan Jones.

“There is a definite uptick in the U.S. market,” Jones said. “And I don’t think that’s just us. It’s everyone who’s seeing it.”

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