Princess Yachts’ busiest ever year sees record nine boats launched and 42 apprentices recruited
Princess Yachts, the UK’s largest luxury yacht manufacturer, has announced that a record five new yachts will be launched at the Southampton International Boat Show and Cannes Yachting Festival in September, marking 2019 out as the Plymouth-based manufacturer’s busiest ever year.
Princess is celebrating a second successive year of record employment, sales and profit which has provided the foundation for its five-star showing at the autumn boat shows. With a further four luxury yachts revealed or announced this year, 2019 will prove to be a memorable year: never before has Princess launched nine yachts in one calendar year.
Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman, Princess Yachts, said: “We are immensely proud to be putting five stunning new yachts onto the water this autumn. Each boat has unique qualities yet together they represent our core values of great design, superb craftsmanship and a focus on enjoying life at sea. Presenting a record number of yachts at Southampton and Cannes underlines our investment in the UK. This commitment to the UK is only possible thanks to a meticulous overhaul of the business in recent years and the introduction of new technologies and design. Without the full support of everyone at Princess – from generations of families that have been with us for decades through to our latest new recruit apprentices – we couldn’t have achieved this success in such a short period.”
The exceptional number of yachts launched underlines the impact of a £100m five-year investment programme begun in 2016. The turnaround plan saw Executive Chairman Antony Sheriff take the helm, introducing new processes, technologies and business strategies that combine Princess’s traditional yacht-making skills with best practice in developing luxury brands honed during 20 years of leadership at international automotive marques.
Princess Yachts posted record financial results in 2018 for the second year in succession, making it the most successful year in its 54-year history.
Princess has also reached record levels of employment, with over 3,000 people producing yachts across its five Plymouth boatyards, a 50% increase since 2016, making Princess one of the UK’s largest specialist manufacturers with a bigger team than the likes of Aston Martin, Lotus Cars and McLaren Automotive.
Supporting this growth, Princess also increased investment in its successful apprenticeship programme with a record 42 new apprentices – double the traditional intake – joining the business in 2019; apprentices now make up 4% of the workforce with a 100% retention rate in recent years following qualification. Princess has confirmed a further commitment to its apprenticeship scheme through a new partnership with South Devon College that will further improve the training received.
Princess is enhancing its boats with new technologies that will further define its industry-leading position in regard to innovation in sea keeping, hull design, interior architecture and use of space. The Y72, due to be revealed in 2020, has been confirmed as the second yacht, after the R35, to feature the revolutionary Princess active ride control technology inspired by supercars and America’s Cup racing, whilst the V55 debuting at Southampton features an all-new hull design that provides a class-leading combination of performance and efficiency.
The Southampton International Boat Show is the UK’s leading event in the yacht retail calendar. Debuting at this year’s show are the F50 flybridge, the sporty S62 and S66 sportbridges, the all‑new ultra-dynamic V55 and the luxurious Y78 motor yacht. The F50 and S66 receive a simultaneous debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival. These five new additions join the yachts already announced in 2019 – the F45 flybridge, the V78, the flagship Y85 and the game-changing X95 superfly.