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Groupe Beneteau sales up in first half of 2018

Group Beneteau’s revenues are up 10.5 percent in the first half of the fiscal year, with increases in the boat division attributed to strong European sales.

The boat division reported a 1-point improvement in profitability, but was negatively impacted by unfavorable exchange rates between the euro and the U.S. dollar.

The exchange led to a loss of 5.4 million euros (about $6.5 million), partially offset in financial income and expenses for the first half of the year through currency hedging, which amounted to 4.9 million euros (about $5.4 million).

As of Feb. 28, the order book for the boat business was up 15.2 percent at constant exchange rates, the company announced.

As billing is concentrated primarily over the second half of the year, income from ordinary operations is negative at the end of the first half of this year, as expected in line with previous years, while the net income breaks even.

The boat division generated revenues of 378.1 million euros (about $456.7 million), up 10.5 percent at constant exchange rates compared with the first half of the previous year.

The boat division’s growth is being driven by sales in European markets.

Sales for North and Central America and fleets increased slightly during the first half of the year, with orders as of March 31 up 6.4 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively, for the two regions at constant exchange rates.

New orders for the large motor yacht segment over 60 feet have slowed down, coming in below the full-year target.

The pace of recruitments and the new production capacity starting up have generated temporary operational difficulties, which are currently being addressed, the company said.

Group Beneteau’s annual plan to recruit 500 permanent staff in France has been 86 percent completed to date.

Income from ordinary operations was down 11.9 million euros ($14.4 million), compared with a loss of 9.6 million euros ($11.6 million) the year prior.

It is penalized primarily by the negative euro/dollar exchange effect. The “Transform to Perform” plan is continuing to move forward, reflected in reinforcements for 6.2 million euros ($7.5 million).

The boat division expects full-year revenue growth at 8 to 10 percent at constant exchange rates, outpacing the market due to sustained level of orders.

Group Beneteau is raising its revenue target for fiscal years 2019 to 2020 to 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion), up from 1.4 billion euros ($1.7 billion) previously.

The current operating margin has also been revised upwards and is expected to reach 8.5 to 9 percent at constant exchange rates (exchange rate used in the plan presented in June 2017), with around 130 million euros ($150.1 million) in income from ordinary operations, versus 115 million euros ($138.9 million) previously.

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