According to the BMF's latest reports, the sector is healthier than a year ago with high future expectations

The economic impact of the UK
marine industry and spend associated with boating participation was an estimated £6.2billion in 2012/13, according to a new report released by the
British Marine Federation (BMF).

Latest industry trends results also announced by the BMF show
encouraging signs of an upward trend for this key contributor to the UK

The two reports were
announced in a week when the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine
industry came together at the BMF’s annual conference in Liverpool.

In addition to highlighting the
£6.2billion contribution, the BMF’s Economic Benefits of the
UK Boating Industry

also revealed expenditures are estimated to support approximately 141,000 full
time jobs and more than £5.3billion of Gross Value Added in the UK
economy, taking into account all direct and indirect effects.

The estimates in this report include
associated manufacturing, repair, servicing, distribution, retail, finance
activities and other consumer and business activities as well as wider tourism
activities and spend.

According to the BMF’s Industry
Trends Report (November 2013 – May 2014)
the sector is healthier than a year ago and future
expectations for the marine industry are also more promising.

Almost half of the

353 BMF members

who responded to the survey said they had
experienced an increase in overall marine business activity over the last six
months and profit levels showing ‘the most positive trend since pre

Hit hard by the downturn, the
leisure market is now improving steadily and new build activity is seeing
uplift over the last six months ago compared to last year.

In the superyacht and small commercial
sectors, both of which are still performing ahead of the leisure sector
overall, the most significant improvement is being seen in the aftermarket/
refit markets.

‘Great news’

Howard Pridding, chief executive of
the British Marine Federation, said: ‘This economic benefits report now
completes the picture and we can appreciate the full economic impact of the
marine industry; £6.2billion is a significant total.

‘It’s also great news that latest indicators from our members
really do show that the industry is moving forward.

‘We’ve seen the sector experience
two consecutive years of positive growth and BMF membership numbers recently
reach 1,601, the highest since pre recession.

‘Many marine companies reported good sales at our two last
boat shows – PSP Southampton in September and London in January – and it is
very positive that interest is high for the forthcoming PSP Southampton Boat
Show, with 97% of space already sold.

‘This progress and
positivity for the industry was also evident at our annual conference in
Liverpool this week. With a theme
focusing on growth, many members came together to share best practice and
discussed ways to develop both businesses and the industry.’

Annual conference

The BMF Annual Conference
took place in Liverpool as part of the International Festival for Business

Former John Lewis Partnership customer service specialist Andrew McMillan
addressed the group as its keynote speaker this year.

Picture: The London Boat Show 2014. Credit: onEdition