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For release at 11:00 on February 11th, 2005

Responses to a questionnaire distributed in January 2005 among Finnboat member enterprises indicated that net sales growth was recorded in almost all sectors of the marine industry. On the domestic market in particular, sales of large motorboats and sailboats boosted the annual figure for turnover.

Domestic boat sales

The domestic trade in boats jumped to an all-time high and now, for the first time, has reached the level of boat sales achieved during what could be described as the crazy years of 1988-1990. In euro terms, 2004 sales increased by 34,9% to reach EUR 95,4 million. Of this euro sum, imported boats accounted for some 36%. In accordance with statistics supplied by Finnboat enterprises for smallcraft and motorboats, 10608 (+3,4%) boats below 6 meters were sold. Based on the same measurement method, 530 (+6,2%) boats in the 6,01 to 7-meter class were sold. In the 7,01 to 8-meter class, 163 units (+35,8%) were sold; in the 8,01-9m class, 91 boats (+19,7%); in the class 9,01 - 10m, 27 boats (-18,5%), and in the largest class, i.e. boats over 10 meters, 49 units were sold (+157,9%). In 2004, 155 sailboats were sold in Finland, representing a growth of 56%. Of sailboat sales, imported boats accounted for 89%. The growth, in euro value terms, is based mainly on a powerful increase in the sales of motorboats and yachts in excess of 10 meters.

Boat exports

The export share of the Finnish marine industry's total production continues to be very high. On the basis of information provided by member enterprises, the export share of total billing for 2004 was 74,6%. Of this export billing, the sailboats' share was 46,6%. The dedicated efforts of enterprises on both traditional markets and in creating new markets have brought dividends over the years. While the value of boat exports for 1990 was approximately euro 42 million, the corresponding figure for 2004 was 178,7 million euro; in itself a growth of 2,8% when compared with 2003 (on the basis of estimates supplied by member companies). Customs' authority statistics for 2004 are available only for the period January - October and thus the actual number of boats transported over the border is not yet known. For the period January - October, export statistics for the top ten destinations are:

Country Units Million euros %
Sweden 3584 33,9 25,1
Norway 3148 23,7 17,5
Italy 23 23,4 17,3
Switzerland 77 9,3 6,9
Great Britain 184 8,4 6,3
France 94 7,8 5,8
Gibraltar 1 4,7 3,5
Russia 352 4,4 3,2
Germany 399 3,6 2,7
British Virgin Islands 2 2,5 1,8

Previously within the three biggest of the list, the USA is currently in eleventh position. In addition, export destinations valued at over one million euro for the first ten months of the year were Denmark, Japan and Greenland. In all, 10124 boats were exported to 37 countries for the period in question, i.e. a growth in unit terms of more than 1000.

Boat imports

Boat import statistics from the customs authorities were also available for the January - October period only. On this basis, the value of boat imports for the above mention period was 32,6 million euros, an increase of 53% over the corresponding period in the previous year. The major growth in domestic sales can be attributed mainly to a significant growth in the number of imported boats (Boats valued at less than EUR 840 have not been included in these statistics). Import statistics for the top ten source countries for the period January - October are as follows:

Country Units Million euros %
Great Britain 34 6,9 21,1
USA 358 4,9 15,1
Sweden 305 4,6 14,2
Germany 46 3,5 10,9
France 84 2,1 6,6

In addition to the above, source countries with imports valued at over one million euro were Russia, Poland, Norway and Estonia. In all, 2636 boats were imported during the period in question.

Engine sales

In 2004, outboard engine unit sales based on wholesale delivery statistics increased by 13,9% to close at 23,887 units. In money terms, the difference is greater since the trend to buy larger engines continues. In addition, the price level has risen to some extent. The four-stroke and low-emission 2-stroke engines' share of total sales was about 67,7%. Of all size classes, the largest continues to be engines below 5 hp. Their share of the total approaches a half. In all, 160 (-1,8%) petrol - driven, sterndrive engines were sold and 827 diesel versions (+9,9%). The total sales of inboard engines was 920 units (+36,3%), 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 region (3734 units) followed by Varsinais-Suomi (2218) and Pirkanmaa (1467). The smallest regions are Keski-Pohjanmaa and Häme each with 235 units.

Personal Water Craft (PWC)

In 2004, 181 personal water craft were sold in Finland. This represents a growth of 39% over the previous year.

Net sales (millions) of Finnboat member enterprises in 2004 by sector (0% VAT)

BOATS 95,4 (+35%) 178,8 (+2,8%)
ENGINES 60,1 (+8,7%) 4,2 (-10,6%)
EQUIPMENT 68,6 (+6,6%) 22,5 (+3,7%)
SERVICES ETC. 14,7 (+54,7%)  
TOTAL 238,8 (+19,5%) 205,5 (+2,5%)

MARINE INDUSTRY TOTAL 444,3 million euros (+11,01 %)

Marine industry prospects remain good for 2005

At the beginning of January, Finnboat asked member enterprises to respond to a few basic questions. We inquired about their expectations for net sales and labour plans. Overall, it appears that 60% of the companies have budgeted for an increase in net sales and only 5,4%, i.e. some 10 companies, forecast a fall. As for workforce requirements, close to a third plan to increase their workforce while 4,5% indicated they would reduce the number of workers.

Finnboat membership responses to January 2005 questionnaire

  Net sales for 2005 Previous year
   less than for 2004 5,40 % -9,40 %
   the same as 2004 34,60 % -42,30 %
   greater than 2004 60 % -48,30 %

  Personnel for 2005 Previous year
   less than for 2004 4,50 % -11,80 %
   the same as 2004 67,20 % -69,40 %
   greater than 2004 28,30 % -18,80 %

For further information, please contact:

Jouko Huju, Managing Director (+358-40-5509310),
Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat ry
Käenkuja 8 A 47
FIN-00500 Helsinki
tel: +358 (0)9 696 2160, fax:+358 (0)9 696 21611