Oh what a lovely peace

The British Kiel Yacht Club, located in Kiel in Northern Germany, took delivery of 10 new Hallberg-Rassy 342s this week. BKYC is a repeat customer and has now ordered 54 new boats from the Swedish sailboat builder since the 1980s. The sailboats at the private club are chartered by UK military members for sail training.

The repeat order was welcome news in what proved to be another tough year for Sweden’s builders who have been suffering a steep drop in domestic demand along with weak exports due to the strong Swedish krona. For the financial year ended August 2013, Hallberg-Rassy reported consolidated turnover of SEK 304 million (€35m) for the year, a 13.5% drop from 2012 turnover of SEK 351 million (€42m). Nevertheless, the company returned to profitability in 2013 with net income (after taxes) of SEK 12 million (€1.4m) from a loss of -SEK 11.6 million (-€1.4m) the previous financial year.

Overall, 2013 represented a 10-year low in both employment numbers and revenues for the venerable builder, which enjoyed peak revenues of nearly €134m in 2007. However, the company has proactively managed the market downturn, continually adjusting its headcount and avoiding long-term debt throughout the recession. As a result, Hallberg-Rassy has only suffered net losses in two of the last 10 years and earned a “gold” credit rating from Swedish banks in January, the highest rating available and a reflection of its strong balance sheet.

Dating back to 1943, the company has delivered more than 9,400 boats during its 70-year history and today is owned and managed by the Rassy family.