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Responses to a questionnaire distributed among Finnboat member enterprises indicated that net sales growth was recorded in almost all sectors of the marine industry.

For release at 1100 hrs on 06.02.2004

Responses to a questionnaire distributed among Finnboat member enterprises indicated that net sales growth was recorded in almost all sectors of the marine industry. Despite a slight drop in export invoicing, a record number of boats headed for foreign destinations. Domestic sales also increased when compared with the previous year and a growth of about 15,7 % was recorded.

Domestic boat sales

Changes in domestic boat trading during 2003 were positive. In euro terms, sales increased by 12,2 % to settle at euro 70,7 million. Of this euro total, imported boats accounted for about 32%. Based on statistics supplied to Finnboat by participating enterprises, 9734 (+1,7%) small and power boats in the under 5,5-meter class were sold. Based on the same statistics, 1136 boats (+15,9%) in the 5,5 to 8-meter class were sold and in the over 8-meter category, 122 (+16,9%) boats were sold. All in all 99 (+43%) sailboats were sold in Finland out of which 72% were imported. .Between the size classes for boats, there were no major variations during the year. On the other hand, the level of on-board equipment, particularly electronic devices, continues to improve at time of purchase. Calculated in unit terms, the class below 5,5 meters, i.e. rowing boats and open planing motorboats, represents the backbone of Finland's boat sales.

Boat exports

The export share of our marine industry's total production is again very high. Based on information provided by member enterprises, the export share of total invoicing in 2003 was 78,4%. Of the 2003 export invoicing, the yachts' share was 52,6%. The dedicated efforts of enterprises on traditional markets as well as endeavours to create new market opportunities have brought dividends in recent years. While the value of boat export invoicing in 1990 was some 42 million euro, the corresponding value for 2003 was 174 million, a sum that represents a drop of 3,8% when compared with 2002 (company based estimates). On the basis of statistics provided by the customs authorities, the value of boats that headed for foreign destinations in 2003 increased to some 205 million euros. Based on customs statistics available for the period January-October 2003, in euro terms Norway is our most important export destination (23%), with Germany second (13,6%) and Sweden third (13,3%). Other important export destinations during the period under review were Great Britain (9,2%), the USA (7,1%) and Italy (5,6%). On an annual basis, major variations can occur between these mainly depending on the deliveries of larger boats. Separate country-specific customs statistics for boat exports will be available later in the spring.
The January-October statistics indicate that in unit terms Sweden is number one (2908). Norway is next with 2652, followed by Germany (409) and Holland (291). In the "other country" category, important destinations (over 1 million euros) include Greece, Estonia, Greenland, Australia, Chile, Canada, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, though the number of boats in question was rather modest, comprising, in some cases, only a few units. In all, some 8500 boats were exported.

Boat imports

Boat import statistics are also available for January-October only. According to these figures, the value of boat imports for the period in question was some euro 21,4 million euros, a growth of 53% when compared with the previous year. This represents a significant increase in the total volume of imports on an annual basis (all boats valued under EUR 840 have been excluded from the statistics). The main import source for the period January - October was Sweden (23%, 316 units) with Germany in second place (16,2%, 33 units). Great Britain was third with a share of 13,5% (21 units). The USA followed with 9,45% (281 units). Of total boat sales in Finland, and in euro terms, imported boats accounted for some 33% on the basis of the available data. In all, 1744 boats were imported during the period under review.

Engine sales

The unit sales of outboard engines increased by 15,3% in 2003 to close at 20,957 units. In euro terms, the difference is greater since the trend to buy larger engines continues. In addition, engine prices have increased to some extent. Of total sales, the share of four-stroke engines was about 69%. Of all size classes, the largest continues to be engines below 5 hp. Their share of the total was close to a half. In all, 163 (-35,1%) sterndrive petrol-driven engines and 752 (+23,5%) diesel versions were sold. The total sales of inboard engines was 675 units (-4,1%), all of which were diesels. When the sale of outboard engines is considered on the basis of economic regions, Uusimaa (including Helsinki) represents the largest (3222 units) followed by Varsinais-Suomi (1625) and Pirkanmaa (1326). The smallest region is Keski-Pohjanmaa (223).

Personal Water Craft (PWC)

In 2003, 131 personal water craft were sold in Finland, a drop of 20,6% over the previous year. In addition, 192 PWCs (+61,3) were exported from Finland, mainly to the Baltic countries. Manufacturers have utilised a new technology which, in practical terms, means that current PWC models are 50% quieter than previous models.

2003 net sales (millions EUR ) of Finnboat member enterprises by sector (0% VAT)

BOATS 70,7 (+12,2%) 174 (-3,8%)
ENGINES 55,3 (+15,2%) 4,7 (+88%)
EQUIPMENT 64,3 (+19%) 21,7 (+14,2%)
SERVICES ETC. 9,5 (+23,4%)  
TOTAL 199,8 (+15,7%) 200,4 (-1%)
TOTAL FOR THE INDUSTRY 400,2 (+6,7 %)  

Finnish marine industry prospects remain good for 2004

At the beginning of January, Finnboat asked member enterprises to respond to a few basic questions concerning their plans for net sales and labour requirements. Close to 50% of the enterprises who responded have budgeted for an increase in net sales and only around 10% forecast a fall. Concerning workforce requirements, about one fifth plan to increase their workforce while about 10% indicated they would reduce the number of workers.

Finnboat membership responses to January 2004 questionnaire

Personnel for the year 2004 Previous year
less than for 2003 11,8% (4,9%)
the same as 2003 69,4% (74,3%)
greater than 2003 18,8% (20,8%)

Net sales for the year 2004 Previous year
less than for 2003 9,4% (5,7%)
the same as 2003 42,3% (46,2%)
greater than 2003 48,3% (48,1%)

For further information, please contact:

Managing Director Jouko Huju

Mobile: +358 (0)40 5509310
Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat
Käenkuja 8 A 47
FIN-00500 Helsinki