Profits up for Raymarine

PORTSMOUTH, Hampshire, U.K. – Despite a slight decline in total revenues, marine electronics manufacturer Raymarine PLC reported an increase in gross margins and gross profits for the six-month period ended June 30.

The company’s total revenues were £83.6 million, compared to £83.7 million for the same period of 2007. Gross profits were £43.7 million, up 10.4 percent from £39.6 million in 2007 and gross margins were 52.3 percent, up from 47.3 percent in the same period of the prior year.

“In what remains an extremely challenging economic environment, these results demonstrate the resilience of the business,” said Peter Ward, Raymarine chairman, in a report yesterday.

Its U.S. business was particularly hard hit. Total U.S. sales were down 15 percent over the prior year. Sales to boat builders fell by 14 percent and sales to dealers and wholesalers dropped by nearly 20 percent. Its business with retailers, who were first to see the weakness in the US boating market towards the end of 2006, saw sales decline
by only 7.6 percent, Raymarine added.

Partially offsetting this decline and weakness in some regions of Europe was Raymarine’s business in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, which enjoyed robust growth, according to the company.

Raymarine continues to invest in its future by restructuring its engineering department, “adding new, senior management positions to our product planning and delivery team, to speed up the design to delivery cycle and so grow our position in the marketplace.”

In fact, while the company has introduced several new products so far this year, it has delayed many launched due to the restructuring. It therefore expects to launch more new products in the second half of the year, including two entirely new ranges, according to Raymarine.

Despite the sales decline during the first half of the year, Raymarine said it expects total 208 sales to be ahead of 2007 and earnings to be about the same as the prior year.

“Whilst the market has suffered a downturn in many regions and across a number of boat segments we continue to believe that boating will remain of interest to consumers around the world as a pursuit of leisure or a hobby,” the company stated. “Boats are growing in size and complexity and, although they and the accessories that are fitted within them can be categorised as discretionary spend, there continues to be a demand for the latest, safest, most robust and most advanced solutions.”

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