BY Anna Cummins on 15 Sep 2023

The French boating giant revealed a record estimated turnover of €1.45bn for 2023, during a wide-ranging press conference at Cannes 2023.


Image: Jean-Francois Romero

Groupe Beneteau has laid out its market plan and reiterated its commitment to the ecological transition of the sector during a wide-ranging presentation at the start of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2023.

The French boating giant has had a record year worldwide, with its international boat business accounting for 84 per cent of its turnover. The group says it is increasing its position in services beyond its traditional activity of boat building.

Groupe Beneteau’s boat division continued to grow in 2023. Its turnover, which stood at €1.14bn in 2019, could reach an all-time high of €1.45bn in 2023.

The group has seen its market capitalisation increase by 50 per cent over the same period. Its boat division is now targeting an operating margin of 11.5 per cent in 2023.

The group benefits from a positive cash position of over €200m, enabling it to look forward to a serene future. Results for the first half of 2023 will be made public on 27 September 2023.

Groupe Beneteau is currently active in four market segments (monohull sailing, multihull sailing, day boating and ‘Real Estate on the Water’). It offers 128 models, both sail and motor, across its nine brands, from 4.5 to 24 metres. Since 2019, the group has launched an average of twenty new models a year.

Premiers bords du Jeanneau Sun Fast 30OD, après sa mise à l’eau au chantier Multiplast, Vannes le 3/08/2023, Photo © Jean-Marie LIOT Images

Jeanneau Sun Fast 30OD. Photo: Jean-Marie Liot


In the sail segment (monohull and multihull sailboats): the group maintains a strong market share with four flagship brands: Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon And Excess. The Beneteau First range has been relaunched from 36 to 53 feet. Meanwhile, iin the catamaran market, alongside the Lagoon brand, the newest brand in the portfolio, Excess, is targeting customers seeking the thrills of multihull sailing.

Day boating

In the past three years, the group has accelerated its development in the United States, and continued to extend its European ranges: Cap Camarat, Jeanneau’s Merry Fisher brand and Beneteau’s Antares brand, while creating new premium offer segments, in particular by diversifying the range of its two American brands, Wellcraft and Four Winns.

Real Estate on the Water

In the Real Estate on the Water segment, two major brands, Beneteau (with Swift Trawler) and Prestige, are improving their range.

The Prestige brand is now entering the motor catamaran segment. From spacious luxury to increased stability, the M8 shown at Cannes rounds out the Prestige product range. A leader in this market segment, the group has 20 per cent market share.

“The cornerstone of our success has been the constant focus on innovation serving to improve the user experience,” says Gianguido Girotti, CEO of the Boat Division. “We have carried out our plans with agility, delivering on our commitments and put together a close-knit team capable of expanding effectively in key strategic segments.

“Faced with the challenges that lie ahead, we are determined to continue this momentum in all our segments, as we have always done for more than 140 years. Only those who dare, take risks and encourage innovation will carve out a better future.”

03/09/2019, Cannes (FRA,06), Chantier Beneteau, First Yacht 53

First Yacht 53

Ecological transition

Groupe Beneteau has committed to a 30 per cent drop in its CO2 emissions by 2030. The Group’s CSR approach, now in existence for over ten years, was sped up when its programme ‘B-Sustainable’ was formalised in 2022. Groupe Beneteau is also increasing the initiatives to offer additional and impactful solutions depending on uses.

Groupe Beneteau has set three major priorities for actions to be performed to meet this objective:

Firstly, to offer alternative propulsions appropriate for each use to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The result is a variety of technical solutions, depending on the boating experience, for example, 100 per cent electric for day boating, series hybrid for sailboats and parallel hybrid for the Real Estate on the Water segment. The group has committed to offering alternative propulsions on its entire product range by 2030.

Secondly, acting on materials, with more sustainable components and the development of new recycled materials. For example, the group is working on changing the amount of biosourced material in its polyester resin. This is increasing from 14 per cent in 2022 to 35 per cent in 2023.

Another example is replacing the current polyester resin by an Elium recyclable resin, which may be re-used at the boat’s end-of-life. This material will ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of our materials by 70 per cent compared with standard materials on the market.

The first production run has recently left the Group’s Nantes boatyard with a racing boat, the Jeanneau Sun Fast 30 OD, produced in partnership with Multiplast, which will demonstrate its performance and robustness in extreme conditions.

Going even further, in 2024, Groupe Beneteau will also be the first boatyard in France to re-use all the off-cuts from its glass fibre production. Its products are destined for the car industry.

Finally, the group is also working on the naval architecture of its boats to reduce hull drag and, therefore, their energy requirements. This is true of the M8 by Prestige. Energy consumption was halved by moving from a monohull to a multihull. Groupe Beneteau will exhibit the Four Winns TH36, fitted with foils, at the Cannes Show in September 2024. This innovation will improve glide over water, thereby reducing drag by 20 per cent and increasing user comfort.

“As a major player in the marine industry, we have a responsibility to the environment and are part of the solution,” says Girotti. “The innovations we have developed over the years help us to convert our ideas into concrete, robust and mature solutions for all our products, without excluding user experience. That is the most important thing. But innovation is not just about developing eco-designed products. It goes further by analysing changes in the use of our boat and its associated new opportunities.”

Groupe Beneteau Cannes 2023

Boating Solutions expands

Boating Solutions, the services division of Groupe Beneteau, is expanding its range of solutions. Boating Solutions was originally developed with the group’s financing business. The group used its subsidiary SGB to structure the boat financing model for the entire European distribution. Today, the ecosystem of the Boating Solutions division has expanded to meet new expectations for use.

For its owner-customers, Groupe Beneteau intends to develop its personalisation services and, to this end, took a 20 per cent minority shareholding in the company Yacht Solutions last July. This company offers owners of large boats a wide selection of technical, interior fittings and personalisation solutions designed specifically for their boat model.

It has entered the digital sector with Seanapps, an application providing boat monitoring and preventive maintenance. In just a year, it has already equipped 6,000 boats and 500 dealers and is targeting 20,000 by 2025. The aim is to connect the entire Beneteau Group to Seanapps.

G Girotti

Gianguido Girotti

“The sharing economy will also be part of the pleasure boating ecosystem”, says Bruno Thivoyon, CEO of Groupe Beneteau and the Boating Solutions Division. “We have decided to be a part of it. The Boating Solutions services division is taking up the baton and starting precisely where our boat builder business ends, i.e. once the boat has been delivered.

“On the one hand, it enables us to offer different navigation solutions for people who don’t yet want to become homeowners, and on the other hand, to better understand the expectations of end-users.”

In the weekly charter sector, the Boating Solutions division acquired a stake in two charter companies in 2021: Dream Yacht Charter and Navigare Yachting, which are now back to pre-Covid levels.

Already present in the boat club sector since 2021, when the group acquired a 40 per cent interest in Your Boat Club, a North American company operating in the boat club and marina sector. Your Boat Club now operates on 35 sailing bases.

Furthermore, the group has just announced the takeover of Wiziboat, a company specialising in boat rental by subscription, to expand in Europe. Group Beneteau reports that Wiziboat users are, on average, 15 years younger than the boat owners and 80 per cent of users are new to boating.

Groupe Beneteau is targeting a total of 10,000 Wiziboat members over the next five years, taking advantage of the group’s dense and professional distribution network.

Paul Blanc, Boat Club development manager, says: “Around 80 per cent of boat club members are first-time boaters. They represent totally these new boating enthusiasts who seek to enjoy boating responsibly, with a simple, commitment-free user experience. This demonstrates that the boat club is a true gateway to boating that attracts new generations and people with little boating experience.”


Bruno Thivoyon

140th anniversary in 2024

Thivoyon concludes: “Groupe Beneteau is emerging stronger from three years of transformation. It is pursuing its mission of ‘Bringing dreams to water’ by addressing a very broad audience of owners and occasional customers.

“Today, we are the only multi-specialist in the boating industry. The quality of the user experience is at the heart of our organisation. Our goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 is a major challenge. It testifies to our commitment to a more environmentally friendly industry. As the group celebrates its 140th anniversary next year, the group and its 8,000 employees will continue its transformation, building on the values that have made it so strong: passion, boldness, the spirit of conquest and transmission.”

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