French builders suffering in poor economic conditions

A bad year for yacht sales has forced Beneteau to announce up to 800 job cuts from its factory in St Gilles Croix de Vie.

Sales since January are down 50% on the same period in 2008, according to Le Figaro newspaper and the group’s profits are down more than 30%.

The company, which also builds Jeanneau boats, has been operating at reduced capacity since January, with several thousand employees working part-time hours.

The news comes just days after French superyacht builder Couach suspended share deals and went into administration.