12 Feb 2013

Boat builders facing gloomy times

7:34 am on 12 February 2013

Alloy Yachts, one of the country's biggest boatbuilders, is facing an uncertain future as it battles the high dollar and cut price competition from Europe.

A gloomy outlook for the $1 billion marine export industry is highlighted in the latest BNZ business confidence survey, which shows a net one third of firms expect the economy to be in better shape in a year's time.

That figure is much higher than this time last year when a net 13% were positive and should indicate that firms are more willing to invest and hire.

But the survey says that many exporter are under stress, including those in the marine sector, with firms planning to downsize as they run out of work.

Alloy Yachts, which employs 340 people, is building two superyachts and has signed a contract for another.

But managing director Tony Hambrook said the company has no new orders. He's disappointed the Government hasn't tried intervention measures to bring down the dollar.