Sunseeker hires 260 extra workers as Boat Show order book overflows

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The Independent Online


Sunseeker, the Poole-based luxury yacht builder, is set to recruit more than 260 workers this year amid a dearth of engineering talent and a glut of new orders from the recent London Boat Show.

The firm, which was taken private in a management-led buyout in 2006, fronted by chief executive Robert Braithwaite and backed by Bank of Scotland, is bucking the gloom affecting markets by gearing up for further expansion in 2008.

Buoyed by a surge in orders, finance director Peter Henness said that sales of the recently launched 34-metre yacht were booming. "Our three-year order book is looking very strong, so it's vital we grow our capabilities," he said.

Sunseeker, bolstered by its private-equity war chest, hired 300 people last year. Most of the new hires will work at the firm's Osprey Quay facility in Portland, Dorset.

According to the latest filings, sales came in at £215m for the near 12-month period to the end of August last year, yielding pre-tax profits of £5.4m. Bank of Scotland has a 20 per cent stake in Sunseeker International through its Uberior Investments vehicle.

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