Beneteau Sees Boat Market Growth for First Time in Five Years

The global boat market is forecast to grow for the first time in five years in the 2014 season, according to Beneteau, the world’s largest yacht builder.

Beneteau’s boat sales rose 2.3 percent to 624 million euros ($842 million) in the fiscal year through August, with sales outside of Europe jumping 28 percent to 232 million euros, the St. Gilles Croix de Vie, France-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

Asia and South America “are confirming their status as structurally growing regions for pleasure cruising,” the company said, while Europe is “faced with a significant contraction and major regional differences.”

Sales in Europe fell 10 percent, while in North America, the largest yacht market, sales jumped 47 percent, according to the boat maker, whose products include Lagoon catamarans and Jeanneau motorboats. Business in Asia and South America increased 26 percent.

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