For the first quarter of 2022 ending 31 March, Swedish boatbuilder Nimbus reported a sales increase of just over 46%, noting that it was a particularly strong result for what is normally a seasonally weak quarter.
Sales across the Group — covering seven brands (Nimbus, Bella, Aquador, Aluken, Falcon, Flipper and Paragon Yachts) came to SEK 287 million ($28 million). On a rolling 12-month basis, the sales total is SEK 1.56 billion ($154 million), an increase of 6% compared to the end of 2021.
The boatbuilder said its order book is now at its highest level ever, rising 9% during Q1 ’22 to reach SEK 1.24 billion ($123 million) — a 45% jump from the same period a year ago. During the presentation to analysts, Nimbus Group CEO Jan-Erik Lidström emphasized that the company has many “non-confirmed” orders that are not yet recorded in the order book because they do not yet have production slots.
He continued, “To meet a market where demand is greater than supply, we have already communicated our goal to gradually increase production capacity. The fact that we have successfully added production capacity is one of the explanations for the good sales growth during what is normally a seasonally weak quarter. Another explanation is the acquisitions that we have carried out over the past year on the dealer side, also a clear part of our strategy and business plan.”
Lindström also highlighted what he described as a “very satisfying” increase for orders intake in North America during the first quarter — outpacing other regions with growth of 150% — compared to an overall increase of 9% for the Group in Q1.
Nimbus Boat Sales Development by Market, Q1 2021-22
"North America is an extremely important market in boating and taking a steadily increasing share of this market is also a priority strategic goal and a central part of our business plan,” said Lindström. “Increased sales here not only means a break-in into what is undoubtedly one of the world’s largest and most interesting boat markets, but also means that we reduce the cyclical vulnerability that always follows a great dependence on individual markets.”
In response to analysts questions, Lindström clarified that only the Nimbus boat brand is currently sold in the US market, but said sales represented a mix of models. Current deliveries to the region are in the range of 100-150 units.
Although Nimbus said the Swedish market was weaker due to supply-chain disturbances that impacted deliveries, the Nordic region overall was positively affected by SEK +17m ($1.7 million) due to the Q1 acquisition of Norwegian dealer Herholdt Anderson. Europe saw even stronger gains, up by 80% during the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
Lindström also commented on the Ukraine crisis. “It is difficult to sum up the first quarter of 2022 without touching on the war in Ukraine,” he said. “In addition to great human suffering, the development has brought with it a geopolitical uncertainty whose long-term consequences are difficult to grasp at present.”
He continued, “We are working intensively to secure critical flows together with our suppliers and have so far managed this in an acceptable way, although it is easy to see that uncertainty has increased,” he noted. “How the boat market will be affected by the increasing geopolitical uncertainty is difficult to say at the moment.”
Nimbus Group’s assessment is that “this trend [of staycations and increased interest in being outdoors] will continue to have a positive impact on our market and that the good development in recent years is not due to coincidences but is part of a long-term change.”
Guidance for 2022 includes +6% growth in revenues for the year, with an improved margin of 10.8%. The group reported no financial debt and has proposed a dividend of SEK 1.50 (15 cents US) per share, equal to 22% of its 2021 net result.
Lindström wrapped up his formal comments noting that the boating season was on Sweden’s doorstep. ”For those who have ever thought that the Swedish season is a little too short, it can be comforting to note that somewhere on earth it is always boating season” — a clear indicator of the Group’s broadening horizons for growth.