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Staging the boat show

20th November 2008
Staging the boat show
Last week I asked my bank manager if there was any danger of his bank going bust. Thankfully, he assured me it was in fine shape but it’s an indication of the times in which we live. A small marine business asking a banker if he was financially secure? Now there’s a turnaround if ever there was one.

It's a salutary reminder of just how crazy things have become and what difficult trading conditions lie ahead for all of us in the marine business. October 2008 is not an easy time to be writing to members about forecasts.

 

The Irish economy is facing a series of strong headwinds.

The substantial slowdown in housing activity is having a major drag on growth and the sector is likely to continue to contract for at least 12 months. The international credit crisis has exacerbated the housing correction and is also impacting on other sectors of the economy. Food, oil, gas and electricity prices have added to the squeeze on consumer
spending.

Retailers have had a very difficult summer. Stripping out the temporary boost to car sales from the VRT changes introduced in July, sales in the high street performed dismally. Retail sales excluding motor trades fell by 5.2% in the year.

Together, these factors have resulted in the most challenging economic environment in over two decades.

Against this background, the marine industry will stage its 25th boat show next February. And against the odds, it’s looking very positive. Already half of the exhibition space has been allocated and the IMF's exhibition organisers expect the RDS show to sell out by Christmas.

Of course, the fact that we are staging a show at all is a brave decision, but the take-up for it is an indication of marine industry resilience. Perhaps some can see brighter prospects on the horizon?

While it’s important that we showcase our industry to the best of our abilities, it’s equally important that the costs of exhibiting in the RDS are kept to a minimum for those members wishing to participate. In this regard the IMF are fortunate to have a strong boat show sub-committee chaired by Damien Offer.
Published in Editors Blog
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