During the annual press conference at the Hotel Hermitage in Monaco, Heesen Yachts shared its market outlook with the speeches of CEO Arthur Brouwer and CCO Mark Cavendish. Moreover, the shipyard introduced the design of Grace, showing her timeless profile to the world for the first time at the Monaco Yacht Show 2023.
CEO Arthur Brouwer pointed out how the current economic situation is setting the rules of the market. As geopolitical crises continue into a second year, inflation remains high, while central banks are vague about interest rate reductions.
“On a positive note, the supply chains have largely recovered. Shipping costs and suppliers’ delivery times are back to pre-pandemic levels. But forces that stalled growth in 2022 persist. Inflation remains high and continues to erode household purchasing power. The IMF World Economic Outlook update from June shows that despite these headwinds, global economic activity was resilient in the first quarter of 2023, with that resilience driven mainly by the services sector. In 2022, if we look at the regional breakdown of the Ultra-High Net Worth group, North America dominated with 53%, followed by Europe and mainland China” says Brouwer.
Five years predictions
Boruwer continued by pointing out that, according to UBS projections, global wealth will rise by 38% over the next five years, reaching 629 trillion US dollars by 2027. Growth by middle-income countries will be the primary driver. UBS estimates that the average worldwide wealth per adult will reach 110,000 dollars in 2027, and the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals will likely rise to 372,000.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Economy Outlook, geopolitical factors will ensure that things remain volatile in the coming year. But there may also be positive changes, such as a decrease in inflation and a slowdown in interest rate increases. However, most chief economists surveyed for the report agree that the global economy will weaken in 2024.
The effects on the superyacht segment
Heesen CEO proceeded to underline the superyacht market situation. In 2023, charter, brokerage and new constructions are all lower than in 2022. In the 30 to 80-metre segment, as of September this year, 109 new sales were completed, which is much lower than the 244 completed in 2022 and the record 312 in 2021. The picture is just as challenging in the 40 to 80m segment, with a projected 55/60 new sales by the end of 2023, down from 77 in 2022.
“At Heesen, we contributed to this count with the sale of Project Akira, the first in our new 57m aluminium class, with exterior styling by Omega and interior design by Harrison Eidsgaard. We are one of less than a handful of shipyards that sold a new construction in 2023. We are sold out for this year and almost sold out for 2024”, says Brouwer.
As the Superyacht Builders Association report shows, says Brouwer, this industry is still strong, with 2023 possibly being the first year to exceed 100 launches. There have been 78 launches so far, with estimates of about 119 launches by the end of the year The outlook for next year also seems exceptionally healthy, with 96 superyachts expected to launch in 2024.
Heesen launches and updates
“We have been very busy this summer with the delivery of our largest yacht to date, the mighty 80-metre Project Cosmos, now named Genesis., and we are all very excited that she can finally sail. We recently delivered Project Gemini, now named Reliance, the first in our popular 55m class, with an interior by Luca Dini Design and Architecture. The sea trials of two custom yachts, Ultra G and Sparta, are also keeping us busy. With a yearly turnover of approximately 200 million euros and 15 yachts under construction whose deliveries extend through 2027, Heesen is in a comfortable position” says Brouwer
The shipyard is also investing in lowering its impact on the environment, with a recent 1.2 million Euro investment to cover 80 per cent of facilities roofs with solar panels, for a yield of 1.3 megawatt-hours.
Mark Cavendish, Heesen CCO, discussed Heesen’s Custom Yachts, including Genesis, Sparta and Lusine, as well as the Winch Design XV67 announced at last year’s conference and Heesen’s Series Yacht Jade, Venus and Orion are under construction at the shipyard.
(Heesen Yachts press conference in Monaco – barchemagazine.com – September 2023)