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06.02.2009

DESPITE A TIME OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY, THE FINNISH MARINE INDUSTRY RECORDED A SLIGHT GROWTH IN TOTAL NET SALES FOR THE YEAR 2008

Brisk trade at the early part of the year increased aggregate turnover for Finnboat members to EUR 669,6 million (VAT 0%, calculated on the basis of ex-factory and import prices). This represents a growth of 4,1% compared with the previous year. On the domestic market, the volume of turnover increased mainly through the sale of boats in the largest size class.

Domestic boat sales

During 2008, domestic trade in smallcraft and motorboats eased off after many years of growth. The growth in turnover for the previous year (i.e. 2007) had been a comfortable 38%. Though an increase in turnover was again recorded for 2008, it was a more modest 8,1%. By year end, turnover for the domestic market amounted to EUR 175,5 million. In the light of wholesale delivery statistics, and in unit terms, the change for 2008 was most powerful in the smallest size-class, i.e. boats below 6 meters. In this class a total of 11437 boats were delivered, i.e. 13% less than for the previous year. This figure is at the same level as for 2006. In the next size-class, i.e. 6-8 meters, altogether 1201 boats were delivered (-0,7%) and in the 8-10 meter class 271 boats (+4,6%). In the largest class, i.e. boats over 10 meters, 82 units (+7,9%) were sold (The figures for smallcraft and motorboats are based on statistics provided by Finnboat member enterprises).

In unit terms, 144 sailboats (over 21 feet) were sold (at about the same level as for 2007, i.e. 151 units). Imported boats once again dominate the domestic market for sailboats, accounting for 85% of sales. Most sailboats sold were in the 34-40 ft class (i.e. 69 boats).

However, the rapid economic turnaround and the uncertainty that goes with it resulted in a fall in consumer sales towards the end of the year. The marine industry and traders have had to adapt production and activities to respond to this variation in demand. Of the approximately 5000 workers employed by Finnboat member enterprises, around 17% were laid-off at the beginning of January.

In all, 6064 new boats were registered in the revised national boat register during 2008. Since the new register was adopted only in October 2007, a direct comparison with previous figures is not possible. However, it can be deduced from available statistics that there was a reduction of just below 10%. (All sail- and motorboats of 5,5 meters and over must be registered. In addition, boats with an engine output capacity of at least 15 kW (i.e. over 20 hp) must be registered in the marine-craft register.

Boat exports

The export share of total marine industry production continues to be very high. Based on information provided by member enterprises, the export invoicing share of total invoicing for the year 2008 was more than 75%. The sailboat share of export invoicing for 2008 was 37,3%. On the basis of information supplied by industry enterprises, the value of boat exports for 2008 was EUR 271,2 million, a change of +0,1% when compared with 2007.

Customs' statistics for the year 2008 are available for the period January-October only and consequently the actual number of boats transhipped over the border is not yet know. For the period January-October, export statistics for the ten largest export destinations are as follows:

Country Units EUR (millions)
Norway 3204 51,3
Great Britain 167 48,7
Sweden 3478 47,9
Italy 468 28,7
Russia 1162 18,4
Germany 415 7,3
Holland 403 7,1
Guyana 1 5,5
Spain 41 4,9
Greenland 45 4,1

For the same ten-month period, export destinations valued at more than one million euros were the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark, France and the USA. In all, 11362 boats (-2,9%) were exported to 39 countries during the period in question.

Boat imports

For boat imports also, customs' statistics are available only for the period January-October. According to the statistics, the value of boat imports for the period was EUR 44,8 million (-26,1%) (All boats valued at less than EUR 840 have been excluded from the data). Import statistics for the six main source countries for the period January-October are as follows:

Country Units EUR (millions)
USA 1233 8,5
France 622 7,1
Sweden 580 5,2
Great Britain 162 4,6
Germany 158 4,5
Poland 76 3,1

In all, 6335 units (including inflatable boats) were imported during the above period at a total value of EUR 44,8 million (-26,1%).

Wholesale deliveries of outboard engines grow due to exports

During 2008, a total of 37409 (+10,9%) outboard engines were delivered via Finnish importers. Of these, 21845 were delivered on the domestic market. This represents a decrease of 9,3% when compared with the previous year. No major changes have occurred in the distribution among size classes. The largest size-class is outboard engines below 15 hp accounting for just over 60% of the total.

Altogether, 147 (+25,6%) petrol-driven sterndrive engines and 1009 (-19,8%) diesel versions were sold last year. The total unit sales of inboard engines was 648 (-22,9%), all of which were diesel.

When the sale of outboard engines is broken down by economic region, Uusimaa (including Helsinki) is the largest (4383 engines) followed by Varsinais-Suomi (2801) and Kymenlaakso (1464). The smallest region was Keski-Pohjanmaa (167 units).

Total net sales (millions) of Finnboat member enterprises in 2008 (VAT 0%) by sector (ex-factory and importer prices):

  FINLAND EXPORT
BOATS 175,5 (+8,1%) 271,2 (+0,1%)
ENGINES 77,4 (-14%) 13,9 (-19,2%)
EQUIPMENT 112,5 (+24,7%) 29,5 (+13,9%)
SERVICES ETC. 19,6 (+26,5%)  
TOTAL 385 (+7,5%) 314,6 (+0,2%)

MARINE INDUSTRY TOTA EUR 699,6 million (+4,1%)

Industry prospects for 2009

At the beginning of January, Finnboat asked its members to respond to a few basic questions. We asked what their plans were with respect to budgeted turnover and personnel requirements. Overall, it appears that about half of the enterprises anticipate a fall in turnover while 21% expect an increase.
Concerning labour needs, 35% of respondents forecast a decrease in their workforce while 10% plan to hire more workers.

Finnboat member questionnaire January 2009

Turnover 2009   Previous year
less than for 2008 49,4% 5,4%
the same as 2008 29,5% 35,7%
greater than 2008 21,1% 58,9%

Personnel 2009   Previous year
less than for 2008 34,8% 1,5%
the same as 2008 54,9% 61,5%
greater than 2008 10,4% 36,9%

Boat Accessory of the Year 2009

The ten products that were chosen to participate in the final competition for Boat Accessory of the Year 2009 are on display at the south entrance. The Boat Accessory of the Year 2009 will be chosen by visitors to the show. Visitors can vote for the best product up until Friday, February the 13th. The winning product will be announced on Saturday, February the 14th.

  1. Vetus Exhaust Temperature Alarm Sensor, Vator Oy
  2. Vetus Easy Tank, Vator Oy
  3. Pro-Line Consumption Gauge for diesel engines, Tapimer Py
  4. Suomi 475 Cat twin-hull boat, Suomi-Veneer Oy
  5. Ray marine Wireless Man Overboard System, Navsystems Oy
  6. Railgrip rail mounting system, Maritim Oy
  7. Neptune Formula non-toxic primer paint, Aquastore Oy
  8. Ursuk survival suit for children, Ursuk Oy
  9. BEP Marine motorised mains switch, Maritim Oy
  10. Nawa-Flex spring rubber
For further information please contact:

Managing Director Jouko Huju
, +358-40-5509310
Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat
Käenkuja 8 A 47, FI-00500 Helsinki
tel. +358-9-696 2160, fax +358-9-696 21 611
www.finnboat.fi

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