Beneteau: Beneteau’s activity is recovering faster than expected, the group is accelerating its diversification

(BFM Bourse) – The action of the Vendée boatbuilder is progressing strongly after a further improvement in the business and operating profit outlook for 2021, while Beneteau is broadening its spectrum of activities towards the rental of boats, boat clubs and of marinas to support the new uses of water sports.

Navigate without worrying about the rest: many amateur yachtsmen now want to taste the pleasures of the sea without the constraints and costs associated with owning a boat. An evolution that the world leader in nautical industries intends to support by diversifying into new professions. These advances were very favorably received by the market, especially since they are accompanied by an increase in the objectives for 2021 when activity is clearly recovering faster than expected. The price of Beneteau thus climbs by 5.2% to 14.16 euros Thursday morning.

After a year 2020 marked by the pandemic and a first quarter of 2021 still in decline (in part because of the cyberattack in February), Beneteau returned to growth in the second quarter. So that for the first six months of the financial year, the company posted an increase of 3.4% (+ 5.1% at constant exchange rates) in its turnover to 658.8 million euros. An increase driven by its main division (+ 6.6% to 533.3 million euros for boats) while the habitat activity is approaching balance (-0.9% to 125.5 million euros). euros).

“After a difficult year, we really have the feeling that the skies are clearing up and that the combination of favorable market conditions and the internal measures taken will produce effects more quickly than we thought even a year ago”, commented CEO Jérôme de Metz.

Thanks to the favorable trend in the nautical and outdoor hotel markets, and to the performance of its two divisions, the group is once again raising its revenue and current operating profit (ROC) outlook for the sector. year 2021. Beneteau now anticipates a growth in its turnover of more than 7% in figures published for the 2021 financial year (greater than 6% for the Boat division and 15% for the Habitat division), against +2 % previously.

This growth should strongly benefit from the increase in the ROC, which is expected to more than double this year compared to the 2020 ROC (pro forma) of 27.5 million euros, an increase “which is all the more noticeable since it is in a global context of tension on the prices of raw materials, certain components and international transport “, underlines the firm.

The group is also benefiting from the first effects of the restructuring measures and the reduction in its structural costs decided in 2020.

Beneteau specifies that its overall order book at the end of June stood at 1.8 billion euros, up + 55% in published data compared to the end of June 2020. Within the Boat division, the increase in orders is driven by the dynamism of all the brands and market segments in which the group operates, with the exception of the professional rental market. The Habitat division’s order book continues to be driven by the growth of the export markets, in particular the Benelux.

The group, which operates under the Four Winns, Jeanneau and Wellcraft brands in particular, announced in parallel a series of investments, for a total amount of around forty million euros, allowing it to develop in the businesses in boom in the rental of boats, boat clubs and marinas.

On the one hand, the Beneteau Group is allied with PPF, the main investment fund in Central Europe with 40 billion euros of assets under management (belonging to the heirs of the Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, who died accidentally in March) , to enter the pleasure boat rental industry. Jointly, Beneteau and PPF will acquire 87% of the capital of Dream Yacht Group (alongside the historic shareholders NextStage, Fountaine-Pajot and the management led by Loic Bonnet) and 50% of the capital of Navigare Yachting alongside its founders and its director, Jesper Rönngard.

With a fleet of more than 1,200 boats, these two players will form “the world number 1 in this very promising sector, whose fundamentals remain particularly solid, driven by the economy of sharing and use and thus facilitating access to nautical practice “, underlines Beneteau.

This merger will also allow the creation of a major platform bringing together the digital and distribution activities of Dream Yacht Group (SamBoat, Vent de mer, LateSail, Argos, Albatros) and the digital hub of Beneteau (BandOfBoats, Digital Nautic).

The interest held by Beneteau in the joint venture will be approximately 41%.

On the other hand, the Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie group acquires 40% of Your Boat Club, a North American company active in the boat clubs and marinas sector. A boat club allows its members, for a subscription, to regularly rent boats for a few hours or a day. Your Boat Club owns and manages 24 clubs, including 7 owned marinas, and plans to expand significantly in the coming years. For this operation, Beneteau joined forces with the founders and managers, Luke Kujawa and Michael Jellish.

“Regarding our diversification investments, we are very happy and proud of this development for the Beneteau Group, which announces a change of dimension. These new perspectives are exciting and strengthen our position among the world leaders in the nautical industry” declared Jérôme de Metz .

Guillaume Bayre – © 2021 BFM Bourse

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