Superyacht Group Issues Pre Close Trading Statement

YCO Group Breaks Even

YCO Group plc, provider of specialist services to superyachts and the only yacht broker to be listed as trading on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange has issued a trading update.

Whilst the broader economic climate of 2009 placed considerable pressure on the superyacht industry, the Group was able to undertake a number of initiatives focused on implementing cost efficiencies across the business whilst improving the Group structure for cross selling services. The Board is confident that these changes will lead to further sale and charter revenue opportunities. Despite the much weaker marketplace and the incurred exceptional one-off costs associated with the restructuring, the Board anticipates that it will break even for the financial period to 31 December 2009.

In addition to the considerable reduction of corporate overheads, the Board reported that it is starting to see the benefits of the restructured Group in a market place that shows clear signs of recovery. Yacht Help Group, which offers provisioning and agency services to the superyacht market, has benefited from restructuring the senior management and, as a result, its operations in both France and Spain have operated profitably in the second half of the year.

The Group announced that in the final quarter of 2009 it completed important yacht sale transactions from which it will receive the revenue benefits in 2010. The Group currently has management contracts in place with more than 50 yachts and is tendering for a number of other yacht management contracts. These contracts allow the Group to cross sell a broad range of its services ranging from crew, fuel, concierge and sales and purchase functions.

Despite a very challenging market with lower fuel volumes delivered throughout the industry, the Group continued to build market share and benefited from advantageous currency exchange rates.

The Group also announced that it had reached a settlement with a former business partner over disputed fees and accordingly is set to receive £250,000 and an additional £30,000 to cover legal costs incurred by the Group.

Commenting Charlie Birkett, Chief Executive, said:

“We are pleased to have completed a restructuring programme that has reduced our corporate overheads. We believe the business now has the right structure, management and services to continue increasing its share of the superyacht services market. This position will be further strengthened if the signs of recovery in the superyacht sale and purchase market continue. We therefore approach the future with optimism.”