Bloomberg News

Arab Spring Prompts HanseYachts Expansion in Mediterranean Zone

October 27, 2011

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- HanseYachts AG, Germany’s largest publicly traded yacht maker, plans to expand in Brazil, Turkey and the Mediterranean region as it seeks sales in countries opened up by the Arab Spring rebellions and markets less affected by the economic crisis.

The company is targeting Brazil, “and we also plan to be more active in Turkey,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Schmidt said in a phone interview yesterday. “We are also thinking of becoming more active in Tunisia and Lebanon and around the Mediterranean, because with the dictatorships gone, more people will go there.”

European yacht makers are looking to boost sales outside the region as the debt crisis has led to a decline in traditional markets such as Greece and Spain. The uprising in Tunisia earlier this year may offer an opportunity as a new class of tourists visits the country, Schmidt said.

Hanse, based in Greifswald, Germany, reported a 17 percent increase in sales, to 86 million euros ($120 million), in the fiscal year ended July 31. The company posted an annual net loss of 6.9 million euros compared with a loss of 13.1 million in the previous year, it said Sept. 30.

The company is hiring more regional sales managers to win customers in Brazil, Turkey, Tunisia and Lebanon and is also making a push into nations such as Malta and Montenegro, where many wealthy Russians spend their holidays, Schmidt said.

The yacht maker has seen a “small double-digit increase” in orders in its fiscal first quarter, Schmidt said.

“We have introduced new models, which have proved to be successful,” he said.

--Editors: Jerrold Colten, Robert Valpuesta

To contact the reporter on this story: Niklas Magnusson in Hamburg at nmagnusson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net


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