BMF reports 'small signs' of recovery

Latest industry trends from the British Marine Federation (BMF) show small signs of recovery in specific areas of the leisure marine industry. But while some parts of the industry are doing better than six months ago, others are still finding conditions extremely difficult and continue to be hit hard by the recession.

And while there are glimmers of recovery in some areas, all sectors are still faring worse than 12 months ago.

These findings are derived from the BMF’s spring trends survey; conducted bi-annually, this edition was completed by a representative sample of 207 BMF members. The research is published as an aid to the industry in forecasting and planning for future months.

The number of businesses showing an increased workload in the home market has increased from six months ago, as has the value of the home order book. Importantly, future perceptions have improved from six months ago, with 77% of respondents seeing future prospects as OK, good or excellent, compared with 62% who felt the same six months ago.

On the negative side, there has been a significant decrease in investment over the past six months, while turnover has decreased for 50% of the members compared to a year ago.

The uplifts in home workload and home value of the order book and future perceptions are most notable for the services sectors. Boat manufacturers and sales, on the whole, are slightly less negative for home workload and value of the order book.

Rob Stevens, BMF Chief Executive, said: “While it is encouraging that some parts of the industry are showing signs of improvement these statistics make it clear that this remains a very challenging time.

“I am convinced, however, that the UK marine industry has the strength and quality to come through this difficult time ready to prosper in the upturn. But this is certainly no time for complacency and that is why the BMF is redoubling its efforts to ensure that it offers members high-quality services and support at excellent value. As part of this, we are continuing to work closely with Government to ensure that the interests of the leisure marine industry, particularly the availability of credit, are articulated, heard and understood at the highest level.”