Boatbuilder's difficulties revealed in latest figures

One of the region's best-known boat-builders has reported losses of about £467,000 last year, just weeks after being acquired by new owners.

Broom Boats, based at Brundall nearNorwich, was bought for a "significant sum" earlier in the summer by businessmen Mark Garner, who is now chairman, and Akis Chrisovelides, managing director, after 112 years in family ownership. Accounts published last week for the year to November 30, 2009, showed pre-tax losses of £466,571 at the company, despite an increase in turnover; up from about £9m to £10.8m.

But the pre-tax losses represent an improvement on the previous year's trading, when the firm reported losses of £651,000. The directors' report said: "The group continued to experience the effects of the recession, and although turnover increased over the previous year, pressure on the margins earned continued to affect profitability. The directors continue to strive for efficiency and streamlining of operations, where possible, and are optimistic turnover will increase and margins improve in the future."

"The directors are confident that sufficient funding is available to the group to enable continued operations on the scale planned."

The company employed 116 staff last year, down from 135 in 2008. The new owners were not available to comment on last year's accounts, but speaking after acquiring the business in July, Mr Chrisovelides said: "We do not underestimate the job that needs doing. It has been a tough environment. But this is a long-term business decision." He also announced plans to launch new boats and expand the business.

1 September 2010
Eastern Daily Press

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