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UPDATED: Alloy Yachts launches latest luxury boat, slashes 25% of staff

Luxury yacht builder cuts loose workers to stay afloat.

Nick Grant
Tue, 11 Nov 2014

UPDATE: Contrary to earlier media reports, luxury yacht manufacturer Alloy Yachts made 57 staff redundant yesterday and not “up to 130”.

A spokeswoman says although the company cannot rule out further redundancies, “we are currently working very hard to secure a new contract” that would make such a step unnecessary.



Yesterday's launch of 44.1 metre long superyacht Hey Jude coincided with specialist manufacturer Alloy Yachts reportedly making up to 130 of its staff redundant.

That represents more than half of Alloy Yachts’ headcount and follows staff numbers being cut from 330 to 225 in March.

The company’s managing director, Tony Hambrook, has said the move is a necessary temporary measure in the face of a dramatic fall of more than 50% in global demand for superyachts in the past five years, coupled with an unfavourable exchange rate.

Alloy Yachts has been in business since 1986 and Mr Hambrook says these are the choppiest market conditions the company has faced in its existence.

"We went through the 1987 sharemarket debacle in the early days and it took about four to five years to recover but this downturn has been deeper and taken longer to recover,” said Mr Hambrook, who was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006.

Hey Jude, which was designed by acclaimed yacht designer Sam Sorgiovanni, is Alloy Yachts’ only contract at present.

As a result, “we're not in a position to be able to carry a number of people when we can't keep them actively employed”, Mr Hambrook said. “So the prudent measure is to look after the company.”

However, Mr Hambrook is “absolutely” confident the company will recover when the market does. In the meantime, Alloy Yachts will investigate new revenue streams, including taking on refit and maintenance work.

The company, which has launched approximately 60 superyachts in the past two decades, has more than 30 international design and innovation awards for its work.

Nick Grant
Tue, 11 Nov 2014
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UPDATED: Alloy Yachts launches latest luxury boat, slashes 25% of staff