The brand anticipates a contracting market for sailing and inboard motorboats in the wake of this year’s coronavirus restrictions, on a similar level to that of the 2008 economic crisis.
As a result, it says it “needs to significantly scale back its production capacity over the coming months, while simplifying its organisation and reducing all of its fixed costs”.
Measures being considered for the boat division’s 16 active moulding and assembly sites include the closure, sell-off or temporary shutdown of four locations — one in the US, one in Slovenia, and four in France where it currently operated 10 sites.
Also proposed is the scaling down of operations at three sites, in Italy, France and Poland respectively, while job cuts among production staff globally would also be in the offing — seeing between 300 and 840 people laid off.
Layoffs of up to 460 among indirect production, product development and support services staff worldwide are also being considered.
However, Beneteau says redundancies among staff based in France may be avoided if the affected employees accept proposed redeployments.
Despite the market turbulence, Group Beneteau says its net cash position as of the end of August was better than forecast.
An EGM held on 28 August approved a change of the group’s financial year-end date, which has been put back to 31 December of each year.
Further financial elements will be published on October 27, 2020, including information on the end of the summer season.
Beneteau — whose Irish agents are BJ Marine — said it can already confirm that business for the period from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020 “came in slightly better than the forecast” announced in July, particularly in the last quarter.