Plymouth company becomes first of 'big four' British motorboat builders to turn a profit last year

Princess has become the first of the ‘big four’ British motorboat builders to report a profit for 2008, after both Fairline and Sealine released figures showing they ended last year in the red.

The Plymouth-based company reported a turnover of £206.62m for 2008, up from £195.58m in 2007. Pre-tax profits also rose, from £24.59m in 2007 to £26.58m in 2008, International Boat Industry reported.

Like Sealine and Fairline, Princess was forced to make redundancies when the extent of the global economic crisis became clear. It laid off 316 workers in May this year, but recently announced that 20 of those would be reemployed.

In June 2008, Princess was bought by a consortium called L Capital 2 FCPR for a reported £200m. The consortium was sponsored by Groupe Arnault, the investment vehicle of French billionaire Bernard Arnault, and Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the luxury goods company he runs.